Study: Drinking tea could delay memory decline, Alzheimer's disease

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The British may have had the right idea all along. A recent study found that drinking the Britain's favorite beverage might affect the brain in a similar way as drugs prescribed to slow Alzheimer's disease.

Both green and black teas inhibit the enzyme activity associated with the development of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study conducted by researchers based in the United Kingdom.

The teas inhibited the activity of acetylcholinesterase, which is also contained in Novartis' Exelon and Pfizer's Aricept, drugs prescribed to treat patients with Alzheimer's. Properties in the teas also slowed the activity of butyrylcholinesterase, which plays a role in producing senile plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients.

Although there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease and the rates of the disease in tea-loving countries such as England, Japan and China are no lower than those in other nations, "tea could potentially be another weapon in the armory which is used to treat this disease and slow down its development," said lead researcher Dr. Ed Okello.