Chemicals in green tea may have the ability to overcome cognitive losses that occur as a result of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). People with OSA have been known to have amplified markers of oxidative stress as well as exhibit architectural changes in their brain tissue in areas involved with learning and memory.

New research conducted on rats examined the effects of green tea polyphenols after the rats were intermittently deprived of oxygen during 12-hours cycles. The cycles mimicked the occasional hypoxia that OSA patients experience while sleeping.

Following the 12-hour cycles, the rats were tested for markers of inflammation, oxidative stress, and performance in spatial learning and memory tasks. The rats that received the green-tea treated water performed significantly better in learning and memory tasks than the rats that drank plain water.

The complete study was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.