What's in green tea?
The three most researched phytotherapeutics currently include these three substances:
- Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
Because it is precisely these compounds that essentially make up green tea, it is used, for example, to stimulate metabolism and as an adjuvant treatment for obesity. More and more epidemiological studies are confirming the preventive effects of extremely healthy tea.
Thermogenesis for weight loss
The polyphenols contained in green tea also include caffeine. But the particularly effective components are the catechins:
- Epicatechin gallate
- Epigallocatechin gallate
The latter is pharmacologically the most active. Catechins are considered metabolism-activating, sympathomimetic agents because they inhibit the breakdown of the stimulating hormone norepinephrine. They also increase our energy consumption by stimulating thermogenesis and oxidation of fatty acids.
There are now many studies in which it has been scientifically proven that the ingredients in green tea make a significant contribution to reducing body fat and thus weight loss. For this reason, catechins are ideal for maintaining the body weight you have achieved after a reduction diet, i.e. they switch off the infamous yo-yo effect. The EGCG in particular plays a crucial role. So it is not surprising that green tea extract is an excellent support for any reduction diet or anti-obesity therapy.
What is epigallocatechin gallate?
EGCG is considered an antioxidant. More than 30 percent of the dry matter of green tea consists of EGCG, which is also contained in black tea, but is only present in trace amounts due to the fermentation process during its production.
Health effects of EGCG
This active ingredient in green tea is rightly considered a miracle weapon against illnesses, because EGCG supports us in combating all sorts of dreaded serious illnesses such as:
In addition, EGCG helps lower blood sugar, cholesterol and stress hormones and prevents endometriosis and infertility. In experiments with mice, for example, the administration of green tea immediately halved the increase in blood sugar after a particularly high-carbohydrate diet.
This has to do with the fact that EGCG inhibits the chemical breakdown of starch, which effectively reduces blood sugar and therefore insulin levels. This in turn is a very effective remedy against obesity that causes illness. The anti-inflammatory effect of EGCG is also a great support for the immune system in general. In some cases the latter tends to lead to excessive reactions, for example in the case of an allergy, which has something to do with aggressive radicals and, above all, attacks the sensitive nerve cells.
What's more, it is emerging that EGCG suppresses the formation of amyloid fibrils and can therefore prevent the progression of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. An interesting research report from the Max Planck Society was available on this topic in 2008. It is also becoming apparent that EGCG can also slow the progression of the disease in multiple sclerosis (MS).
A Japanese research group has demonstrated in HIV-infected animals that EGCG can prevent viruses from entering T lymphocytes by blocking the docking sites.
Green tea extract is very likely to protect against cancer
EGCG greatly limits age-related damage to the genetic material and also slows down the rapid formation of blood vessels in tumors, which can even stop tumor growth. The green tea extract also inhibits the growth of polyps in the intestine, with the advantage that intestinal carcinoma cannot develop in the first place. If you have already been diagnosed with intestinal polyps, green tea extract should generally become part of your daily intake routine.
Fibroids and endometriosis
Endometriosis is a particularly common pelvic disease in women, which is characterized by the growth of tissue outside the uterus that can hardly be distinguished from the uterine lining. Doctors refer to such tissue islands that cannot be felt for a long time as “endometriosis foci”.
Myomas are benign growths in the myometrium, i.e. in the muscular layer of the uterus, which also occur in many women, especially of childbearing age. These forms of unbridled cell growth are also restricted by EGCG.
Lowering cholesterol levels
Experiments with rats have shown that EGCG improves the elasticity of blood vessels and lowers cholesterol levels. Both are important prerequisites for preventing dangerous arteriosclerosis from developing in the first place.
In another US study, 936 women between the ages of 50 and 70 took green tea capsules every day for a whole year, with the result that their cholesterol levels decreased significantly. On average, total cholesterol was reduced by more than two percent, and LDL cholesterol, which is a health risk, was reduced by over four percent.
Positive influence of EGCG on people with Down syndrome
At the University Hospital of Barcelona, young adults with Down syndrome were specifically treated with EGCG. A significant increase in their cognitive performance was observed. After about three months, the administrations were stopped, with the result that the cognitive abilities the patients had regained regressed.
In “ The Lancet Neurology 2016 ” it is loosely translated: EGCG can cross the blood-brain barrier. The long-term administration of green tea extract, which contains at least 45 percent EGCG, promotes learning and memory performance in mice with Down syndrome, which was confirmed, especially in the younger individuals, in the first phase of the experiment.
Proven good effects for the skin
Word has now spread widely that too much UV light can be downright dangerous for our skin. EGCG can significantly support the healing process of such skin damage. This also applies to many other skin diseases such as erythema and rosacea, in which redness due to vasodilation plays a role. There is, among other things, an American study in which skin biopsies were used to prove that EGCG significantly reduces the proportion of VEGF, a blood vessel-forming factor, in the skin.
Another study showed that local applications of EGCG can increase the thickness of the skin of old people by increasing keratinocytes. Keratinocytes are, among other things, very important for wound healing and protect the skin from aggressive UV radiation. In this respect, EGCG can rightly be counted among the anti-aging agents.
Dosage recommendation and possible side effects
One capsule of Tigovit is usually taken in the morning and at lunchtime. Since EGCG has a somewhat stimulating effect, it should preferably not be taken before bedtime.
After a discussion about harmful side effects on the liver arose, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) evaluated green tea catechins from dietary sources in terms of their safety criteria. She came to the conclusion that catechins from drinks such as green tea infusions are completely harmless to health. However, anyone who takes more than 800 mg of catechins per day in the form of dietary supplements can certainly expect health consequences and should always discuss such intake amounts with their doctor.