We value green tea for a lot of different reasons. It can soothe stomachs, relax us, warm us up and now, a study in The Lancet Neurology journal says it can be used to treat Down syndrome too.
As most of us know, Down syndrome is a condition where a child is born with an extra copy of chromosome 21, which can affect a person’s IQ and physical appearance. Well, we finally have some good news for those with the condition. According to senior researcher Mara Dierssen at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, green tea has improved the condition of people suffering from Down syndrome.
Eighty-four young adults who have the condition were studied for over a year to test the effects of green tea on Down syndrome. The group was split into two, where half of the adults were given herbal green tea and the other was given a placebo drink. Both groups were then tested throughout the year with cognitive training. At the end of the trials, those who drank green tea regularly had a significantly higher score when having to remember patterns, recall something verbally and adapt their behaviour.
If you’re not already amazed, it gets even better. Those who drank the green tea didn’t just plateau: they kept improving over time, meaning that the long-term affects of green tea could be even greater. In fact, the cognitive benefits from the trial even lasted six months following the experiment.
“This is the first time that a treatment has shown efficacy in the cognitive improvement of persons with this syndrome,” said Dierssen.
To study the connection between tea and Down syndrome more thoroughly, brain scans were also taken from both study groups. The scans from the young adults who drank — you guessed it — green tea showed a visible difference in the way their neurons interacted with one another. Looks like green tea just got better than coffee.
Although green tea isn’t the miraculous “cure” that everyone’s been waiting for, it can certainly be used to improve the quality of life for people suffering from Down syndrome. We commend you, green tea.