Matcha activates dopamine and serotonin receptors easing anxiety in mice.
Researchers at Kumamoto University announced in July results of tests that suggest adding matcha to your diet could ease your worries. Japanese researchers subjected mice to stress in an “elevated plus maze” to study the tea’s hypothetical calming effects. They discovered mechanisms that activate D1 receptors and serotonic 5-HT1A receptors that are closely related to anxious behavior, according to a report in Science Daily.
The research was later published in the Journal of Functional Foods.
“Matcha is thought to be beneficial for brain functions; however, only a few scientific studies have shown the effects of matcha tea powder on psychiatric behavior,” according to the abstract. “These results suggest that Matcha tea powder exerts anxiolytic effect through the activation of the dopaminergic and serotonergic systems,” according to the abstract.
The study describes the maze as an elevated, plus-shaped, narrow platform with two walled arms that provide safety for the test subject. It is used as an anxiety test for rodents based on the fact that animals experiencing higher anxiety will spend more time in the safer walled-off areas.
“Using this test, researchers found that mouse anxiety was reduced after consuming matcha powder or matcha extract. In addition, when the anxiolytic activity of different matcha extracts were evaluated, a stronger effect was found with the extract derived using 80% ethanol in comparison to the extract derived from only hot water. In other words, a poorly water-soluble matcha component has stronger anxiolytic effects than a component that is easily soluble in water,” according to researchers.
“Although further epidemiological research is necessary, the results of our study show that Matcha, which has been used as medicinal agent for many years, may be quite beneficial to the human body,” said study leader, Dr. Yuki Kurauchi. “We hope that our research into matcha can lead to health benefits worldwide.”
University. “Drinking Matcha tea can reduce anxiety.” Science Daily, 9 July 2019.
Journal of Functional Foods, Anxiolytic Activities of Matcha Powder, Vol. 59, August 2019, pg. 301-308