Green Tea Proven To Boost Mental Ability In People With Down’s Syndrome
Green Tea has been renowned for its health benefits for centuries - it is good for our digestion, can help with weight loss and has natural detoxifying powers. But a recent study has found that it’s also great for our brains, and can significantly improve the cognitive functions of people with Down’s Syndrome.
This scientific breakthrough came about following a one year clinical trial undertaken at Barcelona’s Centre for Genomic Regulation. Throughout the trial, clinicians found a marked improvement in memory and behaviour test scores, and positive effects were still found six months after the trial was complete. Green tea contains high levels of a compound called epigallocatechin gallate(EGCG), which has been proven to change the way neurons in the brain interact with each other. Although the compound is not a cure for Down’s (indeed, many people living with Down’s Syndrome and their families would passionately challenge the idea of being “cured”) it can significantly improve quality of life.
84 young adults with Down’s Syndrome took part in the trials. They were divided into two groups, one of which were given a green tea supplement which contained 45% EGCG and the other group were given a placebo. Both groups also took part in a weekly cognitive training course, with exactly the same modules, exercises and questions. They then took tests at three, six and twelve month intervals to see if there had been any change in cognitive function. The results of these tests showed that the group who took the green tea scored significantly higher in adaptive behaviour, verbal recall and visual memory than the placebo group, and went on to improve over time.
Every year, around 1,000 babies in the UK are born with Down’s Syndrome; a genetic condition caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21. The average life expectancy of someone with Down’s is around 50-60 years, but some people now go on to live well into their 70’s. This study represents an important leap in the treatment of Down’s Syndrome- we’ve always known green tea is good for our health, but we now know it can help improve thousands of people’s lives, too.