Your gut—and your memory—may thank you
By Christa Sgobba

A Westernised diet—high in sugary, fatty junk food and low in whole grains and produce—has been linked to obesity, cognitive problems, and even a declining sperm count. But there may be something that can help blunt some of its effects: green tea, as a study published in The FASEB Journal suggests.

In the study, researchers divided mice into three groups: one was fed a standard diet, the second was fed a high-fat, high-sugar diet, and the third was fed a high-fat, high-sugar diet supplemented with EGCG—a compound with antioxidant properties found abundantly in green tea. Then, they followed them for 16 weeks.

Unsurprisingly, the mice fed the high-fat, high-sugar diet gained more weight over the course of the study than mice fed normal chow. But they also were heavier than the rodents who ate the same diet that included ECGC, the researchers explained in a statement.

What’s more, the high-fat, high-sugar group showed greater amounts of memory impairment on a maze test than the mice that took ECGC, too.

The ECGC also reduced the neuron damage, improved insulin resistance—the inability to absorb sugar from your blood to use it as energy—and tamped down inflammation in the brain cells caused by the Westernised diet.

Important note: The study was done in mice, so it’s not clear whether the same results would apply to humans. More research needs to be done on people to see if similar findings emerge—and to determine how much of the ECGC would likely be effective. Plus,

Still, it can’t hurt to start drinking more green tea: A 2016 study on people with central obesity—meaning, higher-than-recommended waist measurements—found that drinking high-dose green tea for 12 weeks led to a decrease in weight, waist circumference, and body mass index.

Originally published on menshealth.com