EGCG, officially known as epigallocatechin gallate, is a herbal compound called a catechin. Catechins can be further divided into a large group of plant compounds called polyphenols
EGCG and other related catechins act as powerful antioxidants that protect against cell damage caused by free radicals
Free radicals are highly reactive particles that form in your body and can damage your cells when their numbers are too high. Eating foods high in antioxidants like catechins can help limit free radical damage.
In addition, studies have shown that catechins such as EGCG can reduce inflammation and prevent certain chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
EGCG occurs naturally in several plant foods, but it is also available as a dietary supplement, usually sold as an extract.
It occurs naturally in a variety of foods
EGCG is probably best known for its role as the main active compound in green tea.
In fact, many of the health benefits associated with drinking green tea are often attributed to its EGCG content
Although EGCG is mainly found in green tea, it is also present in small amounts in other foods such as
Tea: green tea, white tea, oolong tea and black tea
Fruits: cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, kiwi, cherries, pears, peaches, apples and avocados
Nuts: pecans, pistachios, and hazelnuts
While EGCG is the most studied catechin and other species, the most recent are other species such as epicatechin, epigallocatechin, and epicatechin 3-gallate. In addition, widely available in many food supplies
Red wine, dark chocolate, beans, and most fruits are just a few examples of foods that provide large doses of catechins that can have powerful health benefits
Test-tube, animal, and several human studies have shown that EGCG provides many health benefits, including reduced inflammation, weight loss, and improved heart and brain health.
Ultimately, more research is needed to understand how EGCG can be used as a preventive tool or a treatment for disease, although the current data are promising.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects
Much of EGCG’s claim to fame is due to its potent antioxidant powers and potential to reduce stress and inflammation. Free radicals are highly reactive particles that can damage your cells. Excessive production of free radicals can lead to oxidative stress. As an antioxidant, EGCG protects your cells from damage associated with oxidative stress and inhibits the activity of anti-inflammatory chemicals produced in your body, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α)6).
Stress and inflammation are linked to a variety of chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Therefore, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of EGCG are considered to be one of the main reasons for the widespread use of disease prevention.
Research has shown that EGCG in green tea may support heart health by reducing blood pressure, cholesterol, and plaque buildup in blood vessels—all of which are major risk factors for heart disease.
In a 33-week study in 8 people, taking 250 mg of green tea extract with EGCG significantly reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol by 4.5%.
Another study in 56 people found that those who took 379 mg of green tea extract daily for 3 months had significant reductions in blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammatory markers
While these results are encouraging, more research is needed to better understand how the EGCG in green tea reduces the risk of heart disease.
EGCG may also promote weight loss, especially when taken with caffeine, which is naturally present in green tea. Although most research on the effects of EGCG on weight has been inconsistent, some long-term observational studies have found that drinking about 2 cups (14.7 ounces or 434 milliliters) of green tea per day is associated with lower body fat and weight.
Other human studies have collectively found that taking 100-460 mg of EGCG and 80-300 mg of caffeine for at least 12 weeks is associated with significant weight loss and weight loss.
However, when EGCG was taken without caffeine, there were no significant changes in body weight or composition.
Early research suggests that EGCG in green tea may play a role in improving nerve cell function and preventing degenerative brain disease.
In some studies, EGCG injections significantly improved inflammation, as well as the recovery and regeneration of neuronal cells in mice with spinal cord injury.
Additionally, multiple observational studies in humans have found a link between higher green tea intake and a reduced risk of age-related brain decline and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. However, existing data are not consistent
Also, it is unclear whether EGCG in particular or other chemical components of green tea have these effects.
More research is needed to better understand whether EGCG can effectively prevent or treat degenerative encephalopathy in humans.
Dosage and possible side effects
Although EGCG has been studied for decades, its physical effects are diverse. Some experts believe this is possible because EGCG is easily broken down in the presence of oxygen, and many people do not absorb it efficiently in the digestive tract. The reason for this is not fully understood, but may be related to a lot of EGCG bypassing the small intestine too quickly and eventually It is broken down by bacteria in the large intestine.
This makes it difficult to formulate specific dosage recommendations.
One cup (8 ounces or 250 milliliters) of brewed green tea typically contains about 50-100 mg of EGCG. Doses used in scientific studies are often much higher, but exact doses are not consistent
A daily intake of 800 mg or more of EGCG increases blood levels of transaminases, an indicator of liver damage.
A group of researchers recommends a safe intake of 338 mg on the day that EGCG is swallowed in solid supplement form
possible side effects
It is worth noting that EGCG is not 100% safe or risk-free. In fact, EGCG supplements have been associated with serious side effects, such as:
- Liver and kidney failure
- Low blood sugar
Some experts believe that these negative effects may be related to the supplement’s toxic contamination rather than EGCG itself, but in any case, if you’re considering taking this supplement, you should be careful.
If you are pregnant, taking extra doses of EGCG is not recommended because it may interfere with the metabolism of folate – a B vitamin essential for fetal growth and development – increasing the risk of birth defects such as spina bifida.
It is not known if EGCG supplements are safe for breastfeeding women, so it is best to avoid it until more research is available.
EGCG may also interfere with the absorption of certain prescription medications, including certain types of cholesterol-lowering and antipsychotics.
To be safe, be sure to consult your doctor before starting a new dietary supplement.
EGCG is a powerful compound that can benefit health by reducing inflammation, aiding weight loss, and preventing certain chronic diseases.
It is mainly found in green tea, but also in other plant foods.
When taken as a supplement, EGCG can sometimes have serious side effects. The safest way is to check with your doctor before adding EGCG to your daily routine to make sure the supplement is right for you.