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April 2014

Green Tea Extract Might Improve Memory and Mental Function

Green tea extract may benefit cognitive functioning, particularly working memory, according to a new study.

Green tea is made from the dried leaves of Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub. Green tea, black tea, and oolong tea all come from the same plant. Green tea is made by lightly steaming the freshly cut leaf. Green tea is primarily made and consumed in China, Japan, and countries in North Africa and the Middle East. Unlike black and oolong tea leaves, green tea leaves do not undergo a fermenting process. As a result, green tea has higher levels of antioxidant compounds.

In a recent study, researchers randomly assigned 12 healthy people to receive a milk drink containing 27.5 grams of green tea extract or a milk drink without green tea, while undergoing an MRI. The effects of green tea on working memory and the connectivity between the frontal lobe, which plays an important part in retaining memories, and the parietal lobe, which plays an important role in processing the senses such as touch and taste, were evaluated.

The researchers found that green tea extract increased working memory and the connectivity between the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain. This increase in connectivity was related to an improvement in the performance of tasks.

The authors concluded that the benefits of green tea extract on mental function and memory may play an important role in potential treatment options for people with mental disorders or memory loss. Further research is warranted.

For more information about green tea, please visit Natural Standard's Foods, Herbs & Supplements Database.


  1. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. 
  2. Schmidt A, Hammann F, Wölnerhanssen B, et al. Green tea extract enhances parieto-frontal connectivity during working memory processing. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2014 Mar 19.

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