Green Tea May Fight Alzheimer's

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 intermediates."

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 existing plaques.

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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