Is happiness found in a simple cup of matcha tea? ” It’s possible “, according to a Japanese study, if you suffer from stress related to social isolation.
According to an experiment performed on mice, matcha powder used in traditional Japanese tea exhibits antidepressant effects when rodents suffer from social isolation stress. In contrast, no significant effect was observed in other mice, such as explains it Dr. Yuki Kurauchi from Kumamoto University in Japan: ” Matcha tea reduced immobility time only in stress-sensitive mice, which experienced greater stress due to social isolation and showed higher depression-like behavior, compared to stress-tolerant mice “.
Matcha powder acts on the neural circuits of dopamine
The Japanese researchers wanted to better understand the detailed mechanism of action of this powder on the brain. Through the D1 receptors of dopamine (a hormone that plays a role in the elevation of mood and in the feeling of happiness), the consumption of this type of tea would activate the dopaminergic neural circuits. In more detail, stress-sensitive mice experienced activation of the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens with the brew. These regions are essential for the control of dopamine levels in the brain.
The results were confirmed by administering a dopamine D1 receptor inhibitor to stress-sensitive mice; this negated the antidepressant effects of matcha. ” These results suggest that matcha tea powder exerts an antidepressant effect by activating the brain’s dopaminergic system, and that this effect is influenced by the mental state of the individual. sums up Dr. Yuki Kurauchi.