Can green tea and carrots restore working memory in dementia patients?
10/14/2019 // Melissa Smith // Views

Researchers from the University of Southern California found a promising way to restore working memory in people with dementia. In their study, which was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, they found that compounds in green tea and carrots might reverse Alzheimer’s-like symptoms.

For the study, the researchers examined the effect of green tea and carrot compounds on mice with Alzheimer's-like symptoms. They specifically looked at two compounds: epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is found in green tea, and ferulic acid, which is found in carrots, oats, rice, tomatoes, and wheat.

They randomly divided the mice into four groups: One group received both EGCG and ferulic acid; two groups received either EGCG or ferulic acid; and the fourth group received a placebo. The dosage was 30 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg) – this dosage can be well-tolerated by humans and easily taken as part of a healthy, plant-based diet or in supplement form. At the beginning and the end of the study, the researchers assessed the thinking and memory performance of the mice.

After three months of treatment, the researchers found that mice treated with both EGCG and ferulic acid experienced complete restoration of their working memory. This group performed just as well as the healthy mice.

Senior author Terrence Town explained that the neuroprotective effect of EGCG and ferulic acid may be attributed to their ability to inhibit amyloid precursor proteins from breaking up into the smaller proteins called amyloid-beta that build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the substances appeared to fight inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain – both of which are key factors of Alzheimer’s disease pathology in humans.


"You don't have to wait 10 to 12 years for a designer drug to make it to market; you can make these dietary changes today," said Town. "I find that very encouraging."

Town and his team noted that their study was conducted on mice, and many mouse discoveries were not applicable to human treatments. Nonetheless, they believe that their findings shed light on the idea that certain readily available, plant-based supplements might offer protection against dementia in humans. (Related: Alzheimer’s Patient Reverses Symptoms by Applying Coconut Oil On A Daily Basis.)

Can Alzheimer’s disease really be prevented?

While researchers continue to search for ways to treat Alzheimer’s disease, there are things you can do to protect yourself from this dreaded disease. Here are some ways to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Be physically active – A 30-minute moderate exercise three to four days a week can prevent the development of Alzheimer’s or slow its progression in people who have symptoms.
  • Get a good night’s sleep – Studies show that getting good quality sleep can prevent Alzheimer’s. It is also linked to greater amyloid clearance from the brain.
  • Follow a Mediterranean diet – Several studies suggest that following a Mediterranean diet can prevent Alzheimer’s and slow its progression. Some studies show that even partial adherence to this diet is beneficial. This type of diet focuses on high amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, legumes, and fish; moderate amounts of dairy, eggs, and poultry; and limited to no red meat.

Making these healthy lifestyle changes can also help prevent the development of other chronic health problems, such as cancers and heart disease.

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