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Kort artikel over de mogelijke invloed van groene thee op de ziekte van Parkinson.(in het engels)

Green tea protects against Parkinsons?

It seems green tea is steeped in health benefits.

We've heard it protects against cancer and heart disease.

And it may also keep Parkinsons disease at bay, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.

A group of Houston researchers looked at polyphenol, a powerful antioxidant that is the main component of green tea. Previous animal studies have indicated that green tea extracts may have protective effects against Parkinsons. However, the underlying mechanism of this protection has not been understood.

Parkinsons disease happens when brain cells that produce a chemical -- called dopamine -- die in an area of the brain that controls movement. As levels of dopamine fall, tremors and uncontrolled jerking movements worsen. People with Parkinsons also have very slow movements, and some develop dementia.

Some theories suggest that Parkinsons, is caused by toxic substances that kill the brain cells and cause dopamine levels to fall. The researchers wanted to see what effect polyphenol -- or green tea -- has on these brain cells.

In a mouse study, the researchers found that polyphenol blocks MPP -- a substance that is known to kill brain cells and cause Parkinsons in mice -- from entering these brain cells.

Polyphenol seems to interfere with the transport system that would allow entry of damaging toxins into the brain, says study author Tianhong Pan, MD, PhD, of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, in a news release.

The effects of polyphenol on the brain have not been tested in humans.

However, if you want to try it and dont care for the taste of green tea, concentrated polyphenol capsules are available.

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