Green tea is said to be beneficial for the brain. The antioxidant properties of green tea extract to help fight diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. However, scientists did not understand how these materials work at the molecular level, and how they can be used for treatment.
McMaster University study sheds light on these mechanisms. Preclinical data indicate that the compound green tea known as EGCG, prevents the formation of toxic molecules (oligomers), which lead to the reduction of cognitive abilities in Alzheimer patients.
"We believe that at the molecular EGCG level covers toxic oligomers and changes their ability to grow and interact with the healthy cells," - explains Giuseppe Melachini lead author, Professor of Chemistry, Chemical Biology and Biomedical Sciences, who has worked on research projects related to Alzheimer's , for 15 years.
The results of work in which the method of nuclear magnetic resonance, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. According to scientists, they can lead to new treatments and develop new drugs.
Despite decades of research, the causes of Alzheimer's disease is still not fully understood, and treatment options are limited. According to the latest census data, the number of older people in Canada exceeds the number of children, which dramatically increases the need for effective drugs and prevention. According to some estimates, the number of Canadians with dementia will increase to 937,000 by 2031, an increase of 66 percent compared with the current figure.
"We know that at present there are no cures for Alzheimer's disease symptoms, so our hope - it is early intervention. This means the use of extracts of green tea at an early stage, for example, from 15 to 25 years before symptoms appear, "- says Melachini.
In the future, the researchers hope to solve the problems such as a change of EGCG and related molecules, so that they can be effectively used as a food additive. EGCG is unstable at room temperature, and it is difficult to deliver in the human organism, especially the brain.
"Nutritional supplements can be the primary therapy - Melachini says - It is important to take advantage in the early stages, to increase the chances of a healthy life."