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Monday, June 9, 2008

Green Tea May Protect the Brain From Problems Stemming From Sleep Apnea

Individuals with obstructive sleep apnea suffer from loud snoring and gasping, caused by soft tissues of the throat collapsing intermittently during sleep. When the throat tissue collapses, the airway is blocked for a short period of time, and researchers believe these incidents cause oxygen deprivation. Oxygen deprivation may lead to a more serious condition known as oxidative stress within the brain which may result in cognitive and memory deficiencies along with other potential neurological problems.

Researchers from the University of Louisville conducted a study to determine if catechin polyphenols found in green tea may possibly protect the brain from oxidative stress caused by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). During the study, rats were subjected to oxygen deprivation and, of these, some were given green tea in their water while others were not. Amazingly, the results of the study showed that the rats that were given catechin polyphenols via green tea did not experience oxidative stress.

Catechin polyphenols (antioxidants) appear to render oxygen free radicals harmless, thus preventing oxidative stress within the brain.

Of course, this study is just a beginning and further human studies need to be conducted in order to provide conclusive evidence that green tea will prevent oxidative stress in human brains. However, the results are very promising; perhaps at some point we will see a cup of green tea per day being prescribed alongside the standard medical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.









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