Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a powerful health-promoting polyphenol in green tea. It improves the body's inflammation response, promotes cellular health, and stimulates metabolic function. A host of studies (mostly in vitro) show EGCG has protective effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems.*
- Promotes cardiovascular health*
- Supports healthy inflammatory responses*
- Stimulates metabolism*
- Protects health brain function*
- Supports cellular health*
Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, is one of the hundreds of plant polyphenols. These polyphenols are bioactive compounds that can have many beneficial effects.
We get EGCG from the steeped leaves of Camellia sinensis, otherwise known as green tea. While this polyphenol has other beneficial effects, it's most commonly known as a fat-burning supplement.
As evidence, Dutch scientists pulled together 39 published studies on green tea and fat loss and looked at the collective results. While there was some variance between the studies, green tea elevated energy expenditure by about 4.7 percent.
Green tea appears to burn fat through biochemical cooperation between EGCG and caffeine. Together they cause fat cells to release their contents into the bloodstream, where they're ferried off to muscles and organs to supply energy.
The researchers found that every milligram of this caffeine/EGCG alliance increased the amount of fat burned by the body by about 0.02 percent. Given that the average amount of caffeine in a cup of green tea is about 30 mg and the average amount of EGCG is about 253 mg, you get a caffeine/catechin total of 283 mg.
Multiply that by the 0.02 percent fat-burning figure, and you get 5.7 grams of fat burned from every cup of green tea. Drinking three daily cups add up to 6.2 kilograms, or about 14 pounds of fat burned yearly.
EGCG has additional beneficial properties, too. It has the profound ability to quell inflammation. A host of studies (mostly in vitro) have shown that it has positive effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems while promoting cellular health.
Additionally, it may not only protect against sun damage but reverse it. In 2004, scientists tested EGCG's effectiveness against sun damage in an experiment. They took hairless mice, gave them EGCG in their drinking water, and exposed them to multiple doses of UVB light.
The treatment resulted in the inhibition of UVB-induced protein oxidation. The researchers concluded that green tea, taken orally, could lessen the damage caused by sunlight and UVB rays.
- Chu C et al. Green Tea Extracts Epigallocatechin-3-gallate for Different Treatments. Biomed Research International. Volume 2017, 13 Aug. ABSTRACT: Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a component extracted from green tea, has been proved to have multiple effects on human pathological and physiological processes, and its mechanisms are discrepant in cancer, vascularity, bone regeneration, and nervous system. This review focuses on effects of EGCG, including anti-cancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticollagenase, and antifibrosis effects, to express the potential of EGCG and necessity of further studies in this field.
- Kishimoto Y et al. Pleiotropic preventive effects of dietary polyphenols in cardiovascular diseases. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 67, no. 5, pp. 532–535, 2013. ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to review recent findings highlighting daily dietary polyphenol intake and the diverse function of polyphenols and their possible relationships to cardiovascular disease (CVD). their previous findings provide that Japanese people intake polyphenols mainly from beverages, especially coffee and green tea (in descending order of polyphenol content). Many kinds of polyphenols act as an antioxidant against low-density lipoprotein oxidation, which is known to promote atherosclerosis. Recent accumulating evidence suggests that dietary polyphenols could exert their cardioprotective actions through their potential to improve metabolic disorder and vascular inflammation. These findings raise the possibility that polyphenols have a wide variety of roles in the intestine, liver and vascular tissue.
- Qian Yi Eng et al. Molecular understanding of Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 210, 10 January, 2018, pp. 296-310. ABSTRACT: EGCG was found to exhibit a wide range of therapeutic properties including anti-atherosclerosis, anti-cardiac hypertrophy, anti-myocardial infarction, anti-diabetes, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. These therapeutic effects are mainly associated with the inhibition of LDL cholesterol (anti-atherosclerosis), inhibition of NF-κB (anti-cardiac hypertrophy), inhibition of MPO activity (anti-myocardial infarction), reduction in plasma glucose and glycated haemoglobin level (anti-diabetes), reduction of inflammatory markers (anti-inflammatory) and the inhibition of ROS generation (antioxidant).
- Xu Y et al. Inhibition of Tobacco-specific Nitrosamine-induced Lung Tumorigenesis in A/J Mice by Green Tea and Its Major Polyphenol as Antioxidants. Cancer Research, Published July 1992. ABSTRACT: This study examined the effects of green tea and its major components, (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and caffeine, on the tobacco-specific nitrosamine 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK)-induced lung tumorigenesis in A/J mice. They also studied the effects of green tea and EGCG on O6-methylguanine and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OH-dGuo) formation in lung tissues caused by NNK treatment. Mice were given 2% tea, 560 ppm EGCG, or 1120 ppm caffeine in drinking water for 13 weeks. The inhibition of 8-OH-dGuo formation in lung DNA by green tea and EGCG is consistent with their ability to inhibit lung tumorigenesis by NNK.
- Jung YD et al. EGCG, a major component of green tea, inhibits tumour growth by inhibiting VEGF induction in human colon carcinoma cells. British Journal of Cancer, vol. 84, no. 6, pp. 844–850, 2001. ABSTRACT: Catechins are key components of teas that have anti-proliferative properties. This study investigated the effects of green tea catechins on intracellular signaling and VEGF induction in vitro in serum-deprived HT29 human colon cancer cells and in vivo on the growth of HT29 cells in nude mice. In the in vitro studies, (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the most abundant catechin in green tea extract, inhibited Erk-1 and Erk-2 activation in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment with EGCG inhibited tumour growth (58%), microvessel density (30%), and tumor cell proliferation (27%) and increased tumor cell apoptosis (1.9-fold) and endothelial cell apoptosis (3-fold) relative to the control condition (P < 0.05 for all comparisons). EGCG may exert at least part of its anticancer effect by inhibiting angiogenesis through blocking the induction of VEGF.
- Guang-Jian Du et al. Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) Is the Most Effective Cancer Chemopreventive Polyphenol in Green Tea. Nutrients 2012, 4(11), 1679-1691. ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown that some polyphenol compounds from green tea possess anticancer activities. In this study, they determined the cancer chemopreventive potentials of 10 representative polyphenols. Among the 10 polyphenols, EGCG showed the most potent antiproliferative effects, and significantly induced cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase and cell apoptosis.
- Mandel S et al. Multifunctional Activities of Green Tea Catechins in Neuroprotection. Neurosignals. 2005;14(1-2):46-60. DOI: 10.1159/000085385. ABSTRACT: Many lines of evidence suggest that oxidative stress resulting in reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and inflammation play a pivotal role in the age-associated cognitive decline and neuronal loss in neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's (AD), Parkinson's (PD) and Huntington's diseases. One cardinal chemical pathology observed in these disorders is the accumulation of iron at sites where the neurons die. The buildup of an iron gradient in conjunction with ROS (superoxide, hydroxyl radical and nitric oxide) are thought to constitute a major trigger in neuronal toxicity and demise in all these diseases. Thus, promising future treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and aging depends on availability of effective brain permeable, iron-chelatable/radical scavenger neuroprotective drugs that would prevent the progression of neurodegeneration. Tea flavonoids (catechins) have been reported to possess potent iron-chelating, radical-scavenging and anti-inflammatory activities and to protect neuronal death in a wide array of cellular and animal models of neurological diseases. Recent studies have indicated that in addition to the known antioxidant activity of catechins, other mechanisms such as modulation of signal transduction pathways, cell survival/death genes and mitochondrial function, contribute significantly to the induction of cell viability. This review will focus on the multifunctional properties of green tea and its major component (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and their ability to induce neuroprotection and neurorescue in vitro and in vivo. In particular, their transitional metal (iron and copper) chelating property and inhibition of oxidative stress.
- Biasibetti R et al. Green tea (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate reverses oxidative stress and reduces acetylcholinesterase activity in a streptozotocin-induced model of dementia. Behav Brain Res. 2013 Jan 1. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2012.08.039. ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent form of dementia. Intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusion of streptozotocin (STZ) provides a relevant animal model of chronic brain dysfunction that is characterized by long-term and progressive deficits in learning, memory, and cognitive behavior, along with a permanent and ongoing cerebral energy deficit. Numerous studies on green tea epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) demonstrate its beneficial effects on cognition and memory. As such, this study evaluated, for the first time, the effects of sub-chronic EGCG treatment in rats that were submitted to ICV infusion of STZ (3mg/kg). Male Wistar rats were divided into sham, STZ, sham+EGCG and STZ+EGCG groups. EGCG was administered at a dose of 10mg/kg/day for 4 weeks per gavage. Learning and memory was evaluated using Morris' Water Maze. Oxidative stress markers and involvement of the nitric oxide (NO) system, acetylcholinesterase activity (AChE) and glucose uptake were evaluated as well as glial parameters including S100B content and secretion and GFAP content. Our results show that EGCG was not able to modify glucose uptake and glutathione content, although cognitive deficit, S100B content and secretion, AChE activity, glutathione peroxidase activity, NO metabolites, and reactive oxygen species content were completely reversed by EGCG administration, confirming the neuroprotective potential of this compound. These findings contribute to the understanding of diseases accompanied by cognitive deficits and the STZ-model of dementia.
- Rasoolijazi H et al. The Beneficial Effect of (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate in an Experimental Model of Alzheimer’s Disease in Rat: a Behavioral Analysis. Iranian Biomedical Journal. October 2007. ABSTRACT: rogressive cognitive decline is one of the hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) which can be modeled by β-amyloid injection into specific regions of brain. Since epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a potent antioxidant agent which its role against oxidative stress and inflammation has been shown in prior studies, we tried to determine whether EGCG administration protects against β-amyloid-induced memory and coordination impairment in rats. Methods: Animals (male Wistar rats) were divided into four groups: sham operated, EGCG-pretreated sham operated (sham + EGCG), untreated lesion (lesion), and EGCG-pretreated lesion (lesion + EGCG). Animals in lesion, lesion + EGCG, and sham + EGCG groups received sterile saline or saline plus EGCG (10 mg/kg) intraperitoneally one day pre-surgery and every other day for three weeks. The lesion was induced one day after EGCG pretreatment by injection of 4 μl of sterile saline or water containing 2 nmol/μl β-amyloid (1-40) into the hippocampal fissure. For behavioral analysis, psychomotor coordination (PMC) index and spontaneous alternation behavior were assessed using Rota-rod Treadmill and Y-maze, respectively at the third week post-lesion. Results: We found that β-amyloid (1-40) injection into hippocampus can decrease these behavioral indexes in lesion group in comparison with sham group which is similar to behavioral changes in AD. On the other hand, pretreatment with EGCG can improve the PMC index and spatial Y-maze alternation in the lesion + EGCG group in comparison with lesion group. Conclusion: We concluded that EGCG can be effective in restoring β-amyloid-induced behavioral derangements in rats regarding coordination and memory abilities.