Sunday, January 31, 2010

Green tea and EGCG

Green tea in it's condensed extract form EGCG is more biologically more stronger and effective. 30 to 40 percent of green tea are water-soluble polyphenols where as black tea has only about 3-10 percent. Oolong-tea is somewhere between green and black tea.

Tea was first mentioned in medical books around 600bc. For a long time was only drank by monks and nobels. Regular people didn't get to enjoy it until much later. At first tea was drank only for it's caffeine. Now days we know more of it's health benefiting substances like EGCG.

Black tea of green tea?

Black tea is made by fermenting tea leaves. When making green tea fermenting is prevented by heat treating the tea leaves. Preventing the fermentation of the tea leaves the health benefiting catechin EGCG is preserverd. Green tea has more pharmacologically active substances than black tea. Due to these substances green tea is considered to be a functional food.

Black tea has an anti-cancer substance caller TF-2 where as green tea's active anti-cancer substance is called epigallocatechin gallate. EGCG inhibits the cancer causing substance called DHFR. Three to eight cups of black tea per day protects from cardio pulmonary diseases and is otherwise healthy.

What is green tea made of?

Green tea is one of the best studied natural products. The best known components are purinealkaloids, caffeine, theobromine, theophylline and EGCG. The latter is a traditionally used very effective asthma medicine. Green tea has less caffeine than black tea. Depending on the location and method of harvest the concentration is between three and five percent. Other significant substances are an aminoacid called glutamineacidethylamide, flavonoids and polyfenols which consist about 20% of the teas dry weight.

Green tea has a lot of plant antioxidant, which destroy the free radicals forming in our bodies. They are caused by toxins in the nature, toxins in the air, ozone, UV-rays and tobacco smoke. They are also caused by inflammatory diseases and other prolonged illnesses such as arthritis, drinking a lot of coffee and alcohol, smoking and some medication. We cannot escape them but take measures to protect from them.
Antioxidants such as EGCG prevent cells from mutation, cancer ja aging. Flavonoids prevent fat build-up in tissue. So green tea is an excellent weightloss beverage (or in tabler form a great nutritional supplement. The catechin-flavonoids in green tea can be more effective as antioxidants than vitamins C and D. Some scientists think that epigallocatechins are the best natural antioxidant found so far. Flavonoids in green tea are very well absorbed from the intestines to the blood.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

EGCG - Health benefits

EGCG - Green tea
Of all the catechins of green tea, EGCG has the most health benefits. First of all it is a very potent antioxidant. An antioxidant prevent oxidation in cells which causes free radicals that can cause damage in cells. In studies it has shown to be useful in the treatment of numerous diseases.

EGCG's anti-cancer effects

Numerous studies suggest that green tea has anti-cancer properties. EGCG might protect against cancers including breast cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer. Drinking  just two or three cups of green tea might slow down the progression of lung cancer. Although there is some evidence that white tea might be more effective than green tea in the treatment of lung cancer. A study in Taiwan showed that that people who drink at least one cup of green tea per day have five time less chance of developing lung cancer. One study green tea combined with tamoxifen suppresses the growth of breast cancer tumors in humans and mice. Applying green tea extracts directly to the skin might have protective properties against skin cancer.

EGCG might speed up metabolism
There is evindece that green tea might speed up metabolism, increase fat oxidation and enhance insulin sensitivity ja glucose toleranse. Also EGCG and caffeine found in green tea raise thermogenesis (heat production).

Anti-diabetic properties

Since green tea might enhance insulin sensitivity there is a chance it could be used in treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Green tea a smart drug?

L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea and there is a possibility it affects brain's neurotransmitters and enchances activity in alpha brain-waves.

Benefits boosting immunity

By comparing coffee drinkers and green tea drinkers it was found that green tea drinkers have five times the amount of anti-bacterial proteins in blood than coffee drinkers. It might boost the immune system and help in treatment and prevention of diseases.

EGCG prevents cognitive impairment.

A study in Japan showed that seniors drinking more that two cups of green tea per day had half the chance of having cognitive impairment. It is thought to be an effect of EGCG passing the blood-brain barrier.

Tea lowers cortisol

Drinking tea can lower the level of cortisol (a stress hormone produced by zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex). High cortisol levels have been linked with blood clotting and heart attacks.

EGCG inhibits HIV

Epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG  can inhibit the HI-virus binding to healthy cells and it might be useful in the treatment of HIV.


Polyphenols (such as EGCG) in the green tea have to ability to reduce intestinal inflammation in mice with inflammatory bowel disease. It might have something to do with the anti-inflammatory properties of green tea.

Halitosis and polyphenols

The anti-bacterial properties of polyphenols might help with bad breath caused by the growth of bacteria in the mouth.

Drinking tea against hemachromatosis

Flavonoids in black tea can limit iron absorption and help people with hemochromatosis by preventing excess iron damaging their bodies.

As shown green tea and EGCG have multiple health benefits.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Piperine enhances the bioavailability of EGCG in mice

Epigallocatechin gallate (better known as EGCG) is a polyphenolic antioxidant plant metabolite found in green tea. It the most important catechin of green tea and has multiple health benefits. As useful as EGCG is it's bioavalability is weak. Bioavailability measures the absorption of nutrients in the human body. In mice the bioavailability of epigallocatechin gallate is 26,5% and in rats 1,6. For now it is unknown how well the catechins of green tea are absorbed in the human GI-tract, but in the light of these figures it looks like an interesting subject for a study.

Piperine and EGCG

Lambert & co have studied this exact problem. They conclude in their study that piperine (the alkaloid responsible for the taste of black pepper) enhances the bioavailability of EGCG in mice.

Piperine has the ability to prevent the glucuronidation (a process in body that makes substances more water-soluble). Glucuronidated substances are more easily excreted in urine. When glucuronidation is prevented the bioavailability of some substances is enhanced.

The microsomes in small intestine and liver effectively transform epigallocatechin gallate to a more water-soluble form. When the mice were given piperine along with EGCG the glucuronidation in the small intestine was reduced by 40 to 60 percent depending on dosage. The more piperine, the greater the preventitive effect.

EGCG - Chart 1

The chart represents that even with great piperin dosage there was no significant reduction in the hepatic glucuronidation. Small intestinal glucuronidation on the other hand was significantly reduced.

When mice were given epigallocatechin gallate and piperine the level of EGCG in blood plasma increased significately.
EGCG - Chart 2

The chart displays the plasma epigallocatechin gallate level  with and without piperine.

Piperine reduces the excretion of epigallocatechin gallate. When mice were given piperin the amount of EGCG in stool was reduced which is a good sign of enhanced bioavailability.

EGCG - Chart 3

As shown in the chart the effect of piperine is clear. Compared to the control group less than half of epigallocatechin gallate hadexcreted in stool in the piperin group after five hours.

At the moment it is not clear what effect piperin has in humans. In the test piperine dosage was 40 percent of the EGCG dosage. One cup of green tea has in average 180mg of ECGC (depends on the quality of the tea and the infusion time). Black pepper contains about 5-10% piperine. So you should ingest about 1,5 grams of black pepper per cup of green tea to get a similar relation as used in the test.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

EGCG - Privacy Policy

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