Matcha Tea Powder Improves Depression: New Research on How It Improves Mood and Mental Performance

Matcha Tea Powder Improves Depression: New Research on How It Improves Mood and Mental Performance ...

Matcha tea powder is a traditional Japanese tea that is well-known for its health benefits. Researchers from Japan studied the anti-depressant effects of Matcha tea powder in mice and found that it improved depression in some mice, depending on their previous mental state.

Matcha tea powder improves mood, and what factors play a role in its ability to calm the mind.

Matcha, a traditional Japanese tea, has been praised for its health benefits—it can boost mood and mental performance in humans and mice alike—but more mechanistic research is required. According to the authors, the powder activates dopaminergic neural circuits and improves depression in certain mice, depending on the animal's previous mental state.

Depression is the most common mental illness in the world, and the number of people affected by it is increasing. It is believed that the disorder is mainly related to a decrease in dopamine in the brain. Dopamine plays an important role in promoting happiness, achievement, and motivation.

Matcha tea powder is a green tea powder made from shade-grown tea leaves that have been ground into a fine powder. It is a traditional Japanese tea that has been enjoyed for centuries, and is famous for its vivid green color, distinctive flavor, and health benefits. The tea leaves used in Matcha are grown in special conditions, where the plants are shaded from direct sunlight for a few weeks before harvest.

Matcha tea powder has been shown to reduce anxiety-like behavior in mice by activating dopamine function via dopamine D1 receptor signaling. The resultant dopamine boost may also reduce depression symptoms.

For their experiments, stress-tolerant BALB/c and stress-susceptible C57BL/6J mice were subjected to social isolation stress. Even injecting a Matcha tea suspension appeared to reduce levels of depression in stressed-susceptible mice, according to Dr. Kurauchi. TST tests are commonly used to assess depression in mice.

Matcha's anti-depressive effects are influenced by the dopaminergic neural circuit and mice's mental states following social isolation stress. Credit: Yuki Kurauchi from Kumamoto University

After eating Matcha tea suspension, the team explored how this worked. These areas are crucial for controlling dopamine levels in the body. Typically, stress-susceptible mice would experience increased dopamine levels, thus lowering one's mood.

Matcha tea suspension's antidepressant-like effects were negated by another research. Dr. Kurauchi ties it all together: "These findings suggest that Matcha tea powder activates the dopaminergic system of the brain, and this is influenced by the individual."

Dr. Kurauchi is optimistic about their findings' future impacts. Certainly, the differences in individuals' mental health should be considered now, given how stress-susceptible mice were sensitive to the effects of Matcha tea suspension, while stress-tolerant mice were not.

Yuki Kurauchi, Yuki Ohta, Keigo Matsuda, Hari Prasad Devkota, Takahiro Seki, and Hiroshi Katsuki, Nutrients, 22 January 2023, DOI: 10.3390/nu15030581

Yuki Kurauchi, Associate Professor at Georgetown University, has a little information about her.

Dr. Yuki Kurauchi is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Kumamoto University, Japan. His research interests include behavioral analysis of anxiety sufferers, and investigation of the pathogenic mechanisms of migraine.

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