The Benefits of Green Tea

As a busy woman with her hands full, green tea used to be the drink that I would constantly consume. I knew of its benefits when it comes to metabolism and fighting cancer growth cells. However, after many drastic changes in my life, I stopped drinking green tea without much thought to it. I retreated to coffee and tea since then until I found the article, “New Study Shows That Green Tea Boosts Working Memory” written by David DiSalvo.
In the article, it states, “Its active ingredients have been linked to an array of health benefits, including weight loss, decreasing anxiety, and stopping the growth of cancer cells. And now new research adds ‘memory enhancer’ to the list.” According to our textbook, the working memory is defined as a limited-capacity for temporary storage and manipulation of information for complex tasks such as comprehension, learning, and reasoning (pp. 131 to 132). The working memory works very closely with your short-term memory. It is responsible for helping you solve problems, including schoolwork, and enables you to use your reasoning by using your memories. As it also stated in the textbook, “working memory is concerned not just with how information is stored, but with how information is manipulated in the service of various forms of cognition” (p. 132). Without our working memory, we would not be able to remember what to do in certain situations or figure out how to do math problems or such things that requires you to use your comprehension and reasoning. It is a very complex, yet valuable, system in your brain which your everyday life relies on.
According to the website under “”, the green tea is very popular in China and Japan. It is somewhat of a coincidence that the stereotypes regarding the people of the Asia countries are exceptional in solving math problems and are considered to be some of the most intelligent people there are. Perhaps there is a tie between the two? That’s up to the researchers. The green tea is originally made from the leaves from “Camellia sinensis” that have undergone minimal oxidation during processing. The green tea, as stated by the website, “is a type of tea that is harvested and quickly preserved.” It’s more popular in China and Japan than it is here in America but there is a great growth in the popularity of the green tea among the Americans due to the health benefits associated with it. They have different flavors of green tea in the popular grocery stores like Wal-Mart, Price Chopper, Stop and Shop, and so on. However, the website recommends that you purchase the green tea from high-end grocery places like Whole Foods and Dean & Deluca or specialty grocery stores like Japanese or Chinese grocers.
Back to the article written by David DaSalvo, this article emphasizes that the green tea helps with your working memory as well as all the other benefits. The article explained how the research was done where they had some participants drink the actual green tea and others drink whey protein that tastes and looks like green tea. Then the researchers examined their brain with fMRI machine and the participants had to complete a task that tested their working memory. The results were as stated on the article, “participants who drank the beverage containing green tea extract performed better on the memory tasks, and their brains showed a distinctly different activation pattern between their frontal and parietal lobes. The frontal lobe, home of our most advanced thinking abilities, sits (as the name suggests) at the front of the brain, while the parietal lobe sits just behind it toward the back of the brain. The parietal lobe plays a large role in how our brains process sensory information and language.” It further explained the green tea actually intensifies the interplay between these areas of the brain which I find very interesting. Although, it does admit that in order to consume the same amount of green tea, we would have to drink several cups of green tea a day to match their green tea extract that they used in these drinks. Nonetheless, it proves to me that there are benefits in this drink and that includes improving our working memory. The researchers hope to experiment with a larger group of people but are confident in the evidence they’ve collected thus far.
Overall, this article motivates me to get back into my old habit of drinking more green tea and I’d like to recommend that you’d do the same. As long as we find the brand that we like and let it replace unhealthier drinks like soda and such, it likely will benefit us in the long run. Lucky for me, there is a Whole Foods store conveniently close to my new job and I definitely plan to give them a visit soon. Green tea, welcome back!

Work Sources

Goldstein, B. (2011). Cognitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research and Everyday Experience, 3rd Edition. Wadsworth, Inc.

3 thoughts on “The Benefits of Green Tea

  1. Kaeleen A Taylor

    I’m going to pour myself a cup of tea right now. I will usually grab a cup of tea now and again, but usually it’s for a bit of caffeine (when I want something weaker than a cup of coffee) or some chamomile at night. I tend to be a person that believes in the path of homeopathy and things of the like. From what I’ve read about green tea, I know that it’s high in anti-oxidants. One of my employees swears by one cup of loose green tea a day (he at least attributes his youthful looks to it). I’ve never heard anything horribly wrong about green tea, so I figure drinking it won’t hurt anything. I thought that the article was an interesting read.

    To play a little bit of the devil’s advocate, I would want a bit more information on how the test was performed, like what the results of the memory test were before drinking the beverage. I think it would also be interesting to perform tests based on a placebo effect, such as telling participants that they are drinking something that will enhance your working memory. Then half the test group would receive the green tea extract and the other have would receive the protein drink. Great article.

  2. Evonne L Rivera

    What an exciting blog to read as I sit here at Starbuck’s, sipping on a cup of hot green tea! I had no clue that my drink of choice was benefitting me in so many ways. In my excitement, I decided to look further into the benefits of green tea and among numerous Google results I found an article on, titled “Scientists discover green tea boosts brain cell production, aids memory” by Sherry Baker. Naturally, I began to drink my tea faster than usual as I read the article. In fact, I had to ask for a refill before I could even finish this paragraph! (Smile)

    In her article, Baker shares some of the results from research, performed by Dr. Yun Bai and his team, focused on a central property of green tea called epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG). She claims that it is common knowledge among researchers that EGCG is a “potent anti-oxidant” and explains that Dr. Bai and his team’s main interest in the research was to discover the potential benefits of EGCG against “age-related degenerative diseases” (Baker, 2012). The results showed that EGCG increased production of neural progenitor cells and improved memory and spatial learning in mice (Baker, 2012). Curious to learn more, I decided to look up Dr. Bai and his team’s article published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research on June 13th, 2012.

    To add to the list of benefits shared in this blog and in Baker’s article, Wang, Li, Xu, Song, Tao and Bai (2012) point out a number of ways that green tea has been found to benefit our health in the introduction of their article, including “the prevention and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory diseases, and diabetes.” They explain that EGCG is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier and that other research has shown it to possibly “improve the cognitive performance of Down syndrome patients” (Wang, et al., 2012). These results, among other research findings that EGCG is connected with cellular mechanisms in the brain, inspired the team to hypothesize that it would “improve cognitive function by increasing adult hippocampal neurogenesis” (Wang, et al., 2012). What this means is that they proposed that the EGCG in green tea would increase the production of nerve tissue in the hippocampus, which could potentially improve learning and memory for those with decreased neurogenesis due to aging or neurological disease.

    In their study, Wang, et al, (2012) performed several tests, observing the effects of EGCG on the production of cells in vitro and in vivo using mice. Their results supported their hypothesis, showing that EGCG helped increase the production of neural progenitor cells in vitro. To test EGCG’s effects in vivo, Wang, et al., (2012) studied the spatial learning and memory in a group of mice given concentrated doses of EGCG to drink, compared to a control group of mice not given EGCG, over a period of seven days. They found that the mice given the EGCG performed their spatial memory tasks better and faster than the control group, suggesting that EGCG also “enhances learning and memory” (Wang, et al., 2012). At the closing of their article, Wang, et al., (2012) recommend drinking green tea regularly as an effort to prevent disease. I think I am going to take this advice and start increasing my consumption of green tea as well!


    Baker, S. (2012, September 13). Scientists discover green tea boosts brain cell production, aids memory. Retrieved April 23, 2014, from

    Wang, Y., Li, M., Xu, X., Song, M., Tao, H. and Bai, Y. (2012), Green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) promotes neural progenitor cell proliferation and sonic hedgehog pathway activation during adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Mol. Nutr. Food Res., 56: 1292–1303. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201200035

  3. Venus Lopez

    This is a great blog and it sounds like a great article on green tea. Thank you for sharing; I had no idea. I had been a coffee drinker myself for years until I realized that all that caffeine was really hurting my system. I believe anything in excess will throw a wrench into something. Eight cups a day is far too much of anything, except water. I am a big tea drinker now and I use mostly herbal teas. Green tea falls into that category, minus the caffeine. I am almost positive that I can find one that is caffeine free. I hope it has the same results because lord knows I need a boost in my memory department. I love how science is finding all natural ways to improve the human system. Using supplements like ginkgo biloba is another mental boost stimulator. In a study by the University of Maryland Medical Center they explain, “Ginkgo has a long history of being used in traditional medicine to treat blood disorders and improve memory, and it’s best known today as way to potentially keep your memory sharp.” It goes on to explain how the Ginko biloba tree is the oldest living tree species that can live up to one thousand years. That is a very long life and I can only imagine the things that it has experienced, which can lead to a long tree memory. Shamans in older cultures believe that you can take the essence of a living thing and add it to your energy field. If there is a small spark of truth to that, then I can see how the medicine from the tree can keep your memory sharp and clear. The natural chemicals in the tea act as antioxidants that fight off free radicals and slow the aging process down; I am sure green tea has similar properties. All of this has benefits on keeping the channels clear for the synapse, which is where the physiology of memory begins according to psychologist Donald Hebb. In our text book it goes on to explain that his work led to the study and understanding that synaptic changes cause reactions which create structural changes allowing long-term potential. This deep brain work allows us all to remember our lives in a beautiful story that is sometimes true and sometimes just the collective story of our stored memories from many different experiences that hold the glue and schemas together. Memory is a fascinating process and I say whatever makes it work best with the least amount of side effects the better, so sign me up for some green tea too please.


    Ginkgo biloba | University of Maryland Medical Center
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    Goldstein, B. (2011). Cognitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research and Everyday Experience, 3rd Edition. Wadsworth, Inc. Print.

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