REGULARLY drinking green tea could protect the brain against forms of dementia including Alzheimers, a study published today shows. It could also play a vital role in protecting the body against cancer, the study in the journal Phytomedicine suggests. Led by Ed Okello, the Newcastle University team wanted to know if the protective properties known to be present in the freshly brewed form are still active once the tea has been digested. Dr Okello, from the universitys School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, said: What was really exciting about this study was that we found when green tea is digested by enzymes in the gut, the resulting chemicals are actually more effective against key triggers of Alzheimers development than the undigested form of the tea. In addition to this, we also found the digested compounds had anti-cancer properties, significantly slowing down the growth of the tumour cells which we were using in our experiments. Digestion is a vital process which provides our bodies with the nutrients we need to survive. But nutrients are not necessarily absorbed into the body once food is digested. Its one of the reasons why we have to be so careful when we make claims about the health benefits of various foods and supplements, Okello said.Guardian