Regularly drinking milk tea could protect the brain against different forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, a study published recently. It could also play a critical role in protecting the body against cancer, the research suggests. The protective properties present in the freshly brewed tea helps to ward off Alzheimer’s. Dr. Okello, from the university’s School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, said, “What was really exciting about this study was that we found when the tea is digested by enzymes in the gut, the resulting chemicals are actually more effective against key triggers of Alzheimer’s development.
“In addition to this, we also found the digested compounds had anti-cancer properties, significantly slowing down the growth of the tumor cells, which we were using in our experiments,” adds Dr. Okello. Digestion is a vital process that provides our bodies with the nutrients we need for survival. But nutrients may not necessarily get absorbed into the body once the food is digested. “It’s one of the reasons why we have to be so careful when we make claims about the health benefits of various foods and supplements,” Okello said. “There are certain chemicals we know to be advantageous, and we can identify foods that are rich in them, but what happens during the digestion process is crucial to whether these foods are actually doing us any good.” For the study, the Newcastle team collaborated with Dr. Gordon McDougall, Plant Products and Food Quality Group, Scottish Crop Research Institute, Dundee, who is credited with developing the technology that simulates the human digestive system.
Two elements are known to play an essential role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease: a protein known as beta-amyloid and hydrogen peroxide. Previous studies have shown that compounds called polyphenols, present in black as well as green tea, possess neuroprotective compounds, binding with the toxic elements, and protecting the brain cells.