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Extraterrestrial Compounds in Matcha?

Nicholas Noble | November 02, 2019

Evidence Supporting an ‘Out-of-this-World’ Energy Boost

We may describe our love for matcha as an out-of-this-world energy boost — but does this fall short of exaggeration? At least, one of the most studied meteorites might make you think twice.  

Shortly past its 50th anniversary, the Murchison meteorite is an ongoing source of surprise for cosmochemists, specifically interesting to those who study the extraterrestrial origin behind some of life’s building blocks or ‘nucleobases’ some thought to be exclusive products of life itself.

Caffeine from Outerspace

Not mentioning matcha’s health benefits, it’s intriguing to learn of the possible alien nature behind our daily hustle fuel, particularly if you enjoy the caffeine fix. In fact, it seems that caffeine might do just the thing from beyond the reaches of Earth

Caffeine’s sought after effects are closely related to a compound known as xanthine, one of the most notable findings from the Murchison meteorite. This discovery of extraterrestrial xanthine is even more impressive considering some of its derivatives include not only caffeine, but also theobromine, theophylline, paraxanthine, and others that all share stimulating effects on the central nervous system. [1]

Also, just like the brain-boosting EGCG, matcha contains theobromine which is reported for potential cognitive benefits in memory and learning. [2]

The Bottom Line

This strong bioactivity is partly related to xanthine’s chemical relationship with purine, a building block essential for all DNA and certain metabolic processes. Furthermore, extraterrestrial xanthine adds to suspicion of the necessary building blocks of life elsewhere than Earth, and at least in this small way begs the slogan that makes matcha a truly out-of-this-world source of fuel.

We’ll dive deeper into the different benefits of each type of xanthine later, for now, remember to choose wisely when it comes to your source of fuel matcha contains more biologically appropriate levels of these stimulating compounds than coffee and other caffeinated beverages. 

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