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Cardiovascular and cognitive benefits from tea

Tea and its chemical constituents have caught the interest of medical researchers — the past ten years have seen thousands of research studies published on this subject. Much of this interest has been inspired by epidemiological studies showing that societies having high tea consumption also have low cancer rates. But the benefits of tea (both green tea and black tea) go beyond cancer prevention — they seem to include cognitive enhancement and cardiovascular improvement, as well.

Researchers at the National University of Singapore recently announced that rats who regularly consume green tea suffer less damage to the heart muscle when a heart attack occurs. This actually comes as no surprise because previous multi-cultural studies have shown a significant correlation between green tea consumption and cardiovascular benefits.

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The consumption of tea or tea extracts is also beginning to look promising for cognitive enhancement. Since there is money available for Alzheimer’s research, but not for research into cognitive enhancement for people with normal memory function, most of the published studies focus on using tea constitutents as Alzheimer’s treatments. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to suppose that these techniques could also improve cognition in the average person.

A recent report from Newcastle University indicates that compounds in both green and black tea are able to block several enzymes thought to be involved in causing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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