According to a study published in the journal Nutrients, the trending matcha tea that is now available at Starbucks and Dunkin’ may be able to fight depression.
After a week of social isolation, stress-prone mice were given the tea by researchers in Japan.
When compared to rodents who received the water placebo, they discovered that those who drank the tea displayed fewer symptoms of depression.
According to experts, this could be because the tea was causing the body’s feel good hormone, dopamine, to be released, improving their overall mood.
Lead researcher, Dr. Yuki Kurauchi, explained that “The results suggest Matcha tea powder exerts an antidepressant like effect by activating the dopaminergic system of the brain, and it is influenced by the mental state of the individual.”
According to estimates, about 21 million adults in the United States suffer from depression, with children making up about one in four.
Matcha tea, which is made from powdered tea leaves, has been a staple of tea ceremonies for hundreds of years in Japan.
It has also already been connected to numerous health advantages, such as cancer prevention, weight loss, and improved heart health.
This comes after, earlier this week, a Harvard University longevity expert claimed that it had enabled him to reverse his age by an entire decade.
There was also proof that it improved cognitive function and lessened depressive symptoms.
In the most recent study, researchers examined how drinking the tea affected 190 mice.
For one week, each was maintained at a constant temperature of 71.6°F (22°C) and a 12-hour light/dark cycle. Food and water were available to them at all times.
Then, about 30 minutes prior to measuring depression in the rodents, some were given matcha tea to drink.
The outcomes revealed that matcha tea-drinking mice were more active than their control counterparts.
This, according to the researchers, suggests that matcha tea lessens depression.
Their prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens showed increased activity during a brain scan, which may have been caused by an increase in dopamine.
Dr. Kurauchi went on to say that “Matcha tea reduced the immobility time only in stress-susceptible mice that experienced greater stress from social isolation. These mice also exhibited higher depression-like behavior, in comparison to the stress-tolerant mice.”
Matcha tea consumption had a beneficial effect on mice that had been bred to be sensitive to stress.
But those who weren’t genetically prepared for it didn’t.
How well the study’s findings would apply to people was unclear, which means that more research is needed in order to determine this.