Green Tea May Fight Alzheimer's by Ben Wasserman
An antioxidant found in green tea known as epigallocatechin
gallate (EGCG) appears to help prevent the development of amyloid
fibrils, which are associated with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
disease, according to a new German study in the May 30, 2008 online
edition of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.
The study led by Erich Wanker, from the Max Delbrueck Center for
Molecular Medicine in Berlin and colleagues showed "the polyphenol
(-)-epigallocatechin gallate efficiently inhibits the
fibrillogenesis of both alpha-synuclein and amyloid-beta by
directly binding to the natively unfolded polypeptides and
preventing their conversion into toxic, on-pathway aggregation
EGCG could be used to eliminate the toxic misfolded proteins in
cells and prevent the formation of amyloid plaque if patients are
treated. But it is unknown whether the treatment could reverse the
An early study published in the April 7, 2008 issue of Brain
Research showed "Green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)
reduces beta-amyloid mediated cognitive impairment and modulates
tau pathology in Alzheimer transgenic mice."
Previous studies by other researchers suggest EGCG may be used
to prevent certain cancers and metabolic syndrome in addition to a
range of other health benefits.
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