Feb 132013
 

Alzheimer’s Disease appears to occur when amyloid proteins form clumps, and attach to and kill brain cells. New research that is published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry shows that EGCG can prevent the amyloid proteins from attaching to your brain cells.

EGCG, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, is an antioxidant and a component of green tea. EGCG can also be found in smaller amounts in apples, blackberries and carob flour. There are studies that show green tea to be beneficial in reducing your risks of high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke and dementia. However, there are an equal number of studies that show no health benefit in drinking green tea.

One problem is that some of these studies may have been poorly controlled. Many of these studies may not include the healthy aspects of lifestyle choices. For example, diets high in fruits, vegetables and fish may have more of an impact on brain and heart health than green tea. Another problem is the “EGCG is not always fully used by the (your) body,” according to Webmd.com.

When  many people hear news like this, they immediately go out and buy a supplement. Unfortunately, many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants do not provide health benefits as isolated molecules. They typically need a complex of chemicals that are found in natural foods to provide you with the full range of health benefits. So, if you want to have the full potential of EGCG, it is best to drink green tea, eat more apples (especially Fuji apples) and blackberries.

As a matter of fact, studies done at Columbia University have shown that Mediterranean type of diets high in vegetables, fruits, fish and extra virgin olive oil with frequent physical activity can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 60%. If you are interested in reducing your risks of Alzheimer’s, start eating a Mediterranean type of diet, stay physically active and drink some green tea with a serving of blackberries.

Sources:

Huffpost Healthy Living: EGCG, In Green Tea and Red Wine, Could Play Role In Fighting Alzheimer's

The Journal of Biological Chemistry: Prion protein-mediated toxicity of anyloid-B oligomers requires lipid rafts and the transmembrane LRP

Webmd: Health Benefits of Green Tea

eHow: List of Foods That Contain EGCG