Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a type of polyphenol, a plant based compound known as a catechin. These types of plant compounds are best known for their protection against cellular damage caused by free radicals (1).
Free radicals are highly oxidized, damaging particles that can lead to inflammation in the body. Antioxidants like catechins and polyphenols found in plant compounds can help to limit the damage free radicals may cause (1).
This allows EGCG to be a major contributor to reduced inflammation, and in the prevention of chronic disease caused by inflammation such as heart disease, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, cancer, and so much more (2).
EGCG foods & supplements
EGCG is known best as the major active component of green tea. The numerous health benefits associated with drinking green tea are generally credited to its EGCG content.
Although EGCG is predominantly found in green tea, it can also be found in small amounts in other foods such as:
- Tea: green, white, oolong, and black tea
- Fruits: cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, kiwis, cherries, pears, peaches, apples,and avocados
- Nuts: pecans, pistachios, and hazelnuts**important tip: green tea and matcha (ground green whole tea leaves) must be sourced well. Make sure it is organic to reap the many benefits!
If you do not drink green tea everyday, Akasha Practitioners recommend supplementation with either of the following Akasha Naturals supplements containing green tea extract:
Powerful health benefits
Because of its protective properties, EGCG has been found to be beneficial for the following:
1. Can lower cancer risk
- EGCG has been shown in studies to regulate the growth of cancer cells, survival,and metastasis by affecting the cell at the DNA, RNA, and protein level. This explains why further studies have shown that EGCG lowers the risk of breast, prostate, and colon cancer in humans. (3, 4, 5, 6).
2. Promotes heart health
- Research suggests that EGCG may support heart health by reducing bloodpressure, cholesterol, and plaque accumulation in blood vessels (7, 8).
- Furthermore, green tea extract containing EGCG resulted in a significantreduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol in an 8 week study (9).
3. Promotes weight loss
- Green tea and EGCG aids in increasing metabolic rate, increases appetite suppression, and helps the body to burn more fat (10, 11, 12).
- Green tea also has been shown to increase endurance, allowing it to increase energy and potentially exercise for longer periods of time without tiring (13).
4. Powerful for brain health
- Research suggests that EGCG in green tea may play a role in improving nervecell function and prevent degenerative brain diseases, allowing it to reduce therisk of cognitive decline, alzheimer’s and parkinson’s (14).
- EGCG can also increase attention and improve memory in subjects with mildcognitive impairment (15).
5. May reduce the risk of diabetes
- EGCG in green tea can help to improve insulin sensitivity, as well as regulating blood glucose (16).
6. Aids the immune system
- Green tea and its agents act as an antimicrobial, decreasing bacterial spores and fighting against infection (17,18).
7. Is anti-aging
- Due to the protection from free radicals, Polyphenols such as EGCG have been shown to prevent aging by protecting DNA strands from damage and protecting the body from inflammation, boosting overall longevity (19).
Remember, drinking green tea is just part of an overall holistic lifestyle that can have these benefits. It is best to use it in combination with other integrative practices so be sure to create a whole health plan with an Integrative Practitioner at Akasha who can guide you through a medically supervised protocol.