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Green tea ‘wards off dementia’

Regularly drinking green tea could protect the brain against Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, scientists said yesterday.

The ancient Chinese remedy could also play a vital role in protecting the body against cancer, a Newcastle University study, published today in academic journal 'Phytomedicine', suggested.

Led by Ed Okello, the university research team wanted to know if the protective properties of green tea -- previously shown to be present in the undigested, freshly-brewed form of the drink -- are still active once the tea has been digested.

Dr Okello said: "What was really exciting about this study was that we found when green tea is digested by enzymes in the gut, the resulting chemicals are actually more effective against key triggers of Alzheimer's development than the undigested form of the tea.

"In addition to this, we also found the digested compounds had anti-cancer properties, significantly slowing down the growth of the tumour cells which we were using in our experiments."

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