As far as beverages go, green tea has a reputation for being one of the healthier options available. While past studies have linked the consumption of green tea to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, Chinese researchers recently found new evidence of the positive effect this drink can have on the brain. In a Third Military Medical University study, the results of which appear in "Molecular Nutrition & Food Research," professor Yun Bai and his team researched the properties of green tea and how they are linked to the generation of brain cells. Green tea features the organic chemical known as epigallocatechin-3 gallate, or EGCG, which became a focus of the research. After working with two groups of mice – one that was exposed to EGCG and another that was not – the researchers found that EGCG enhances object recognition and spatial memory. "We have shown that the organic chemical EGCG acts directly to increase the production of neural progenitor cells, both in glass tests and in mice," Bai said. "This helps us to understand the potential for EGCG, and green tea which contains it, to help combat degenerative diseases and memory loss." If individuals enjoy the occasional cup of green tea, their memory may be stronger than they think. One way for them to find out is by taking an IQ test.
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