EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate): benefits, dosage and safety – Lose 20 pounds in a month diet plan


Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a unique plant compound that attracts a lot of attention for its potential positive impact on health.

It is believed to reduce inflammation, help with weight loss and help prevent heart and brain disease.

This article examines EGCG, including its health benefits and possible side effects.

Officially known as epigallocatechin gallate, EGCG is a type of herbal compound called catechin. Catechins can be further classified into a larger group of plant compounds known as polyphenols (1).

EGCG and other related catechins act as powerful antioxidants that can protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals (1).

Free radicals are highly reactive particles formed in your body that can damage your cells when they become too large. Eating foods rich in antioxidants, such as catechins, can help limit free radical damage.

In addition, research suggests that catechins such as EGCG may reduce inflammation and prevent certain chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers (1, 2).

EGCG naturally exists in many herbal foods, but it is also available as a dietary supplement, usually sold as an extract.

summary

EGCG is a type of plant compound called catechin. Research suggests that catechins such as EGCG may play a role in protecting your cells from damage and preventing disease.

EGCG is probably best known for its role as a major active compound in green tea.

In fact, the many health benefits associated with consuming green tea are usually attributed to its EGCG content (1).

Although EGCG is found predominantly in green tea, it is also found in small amounts in other foods, such as (3):

  • What do you have: green, white, oolong and black teas
  • Fruits: cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, kiwi, cherries, pears, peaches, apples and avocados
  • Nuts: pecans, pistachios and hazelnuts

While EGCG is the most researched and potent catechin, other types such as epicatechin, epigallocatechin and epicatechin 3-gallate may offer similar benefits. In addition, many of them are widely available in the food supply (3, 4).

Red wine, dark chocolate, legumes and most fruits are some examples of foods that offer a high dose of catechins that promote health (5).

summary

EGCG is most common in green tea, but is also found in smaller amounts in other teas, fruits, and some nuts. Other health-promoting catechins are abundant in red wine, dark chocolate, legumes and most fruits.

Studies on test tubes, animals, and a few human studies indicate that EGCG has many health benefits, including reducing inflammation, weight loss, and improving heart and brain health.

Finally, more research is needed to better understand how EGCG can be used as a prevention or treatment tool for disease, although current data are promising.

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects

Much of EGCG’s claim to fame stems from its strong antioxidant capacity and potential to reduce stress and inflammation.

Free radicals are highly reactive particles that can damage your cells. Excessive production of free radicals leads to oxidative stress.

As an antioxidant, EGCG protects your cells from the damage associated with oxidative stress and suppresses the activity of proinflammatory chemicals in your body, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) (6).

Stress and inflammation are linked to a variety of chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Thus, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of EGCG are considered to be one of the main reasons for its wide range of disease prevention applications (1).

Heart health

Research suggests that green tea EGCG can support heart health by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and plaque buildup in the blood vessels – all major risk factors for heart disease (7, 8).

In an 8-week study of 33 people, daily administration of 250 mg of green tea extract containing EGCG resulted in a significant 4.5% reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol (9).

A separate study of 56 people found significant reductions in blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammatory markers in those who took a daily dose of 379 mg of green tea extract for 3 months (10).

While these results are encouraging, more research is needed to better understand how EGCG in green tea can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Weight loss

EGCG can also promote weight loss, especially when taken with caffeine, which is found naturally in green tea.

Although many of the results of the study on the effect of EGCG on weight are inconsistent, some long-term observational research found that consuming about 2 cups (14.7 ounces or 434 ml) of green tea a day was associated with higher body fat and weight. low (11).

Additional human studies have collectively found that taking 100–460 mg of EGCG with 80–300 mg of caffeine for at least 12 weeks is associated with significant weight loss and reduction in body fat (12).

However, changes in weight or body composition are not constantly observed when EGCG is taken without caffeine.

Brain health

Early research suggests that green tea EGCG may play a role in improving the function of neurological cells 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 injuries (13, 14).

In addition, several observational studies in humans have found a link between increased green tea intake and a reduced risk of age-related brain decline, as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. However, the available data is inconsistent (15).

In addition, it remains unclear whether EGCG specifically or perhaps other chemical components of green tea have these effects.

More research is needed to better understand whether EGCG can effectively prevent or treat degenerative brain disease in humans.

summary

Green tea EGCG can provide a variety of health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, weight loss, and preventing heart and brain disease. However, more research is needed on its effectiveness.

Although EGCG has been studied for decades, its physical effects are quite varied.

Some experts believe that this may be due to the fact that EGCG degrades easily in the presence of oxygen and many people do not absorb it efficiently in the digestive tract (16).

The reason for this is not fully understood, but it may be related to the fact that a lot of EGCG bypasses the small intestine too quickly and ends up being degraded by bacteria in the large intestine (16).

This has made it difficult to develop specific dosing recommendations.

A single cup (8 ounces or 250 ml) of prepared green tea usually contains about 50-100 mg of EGCG. The doses used in scientific studies are often much higher, but the exact amounts have been inconsistent (11, 16).

Daily doses of 800 mg or more of EGCG per day increase blood levels of transaminases, an indicator of liver damage (17).

One group of researchers suggested a safe intake of 338 mg of EGCG per day when ingested as an additional solid (18).

Possible side effects

It is important to note that EGCG is not 100% safe or risk-free. In fact, EGCG supplements have been associated with serious side effects such as (16):

  • hepatic and renal impairment
  • dizziness
  • low blood sugar
  • anemia

Some experts say that these negative effects may be related to the toxic contamination of the supplements and not to the EGCG itself, but you should be very careful if you are considering taking this supplement.

It is not recommended to take extra doses of EGCG if you are pregnant, as it may interfere with the metabolism of folate – a B vitamin essential for the growth and development of the fetus – increasing the risk of birth defects such as spina bifida (19).

It remains unclear whether EGCG supplements are safe for breastfeeding women, so it is best to avoid them until more research is available (20).

EGCG may also interfere with the absorption of prescription medicines, including certain cholesterol-lowering medicines and antipsychotics (21).

To ensure safety, always consult your healthcare provider before starting a new dietary supplement.

summary

There is currently no clear dosing recommendation for EGCG, although 800 mg daily for up to 4 weeks has been used safely in studies. EGCG supplements have been linked to serious side effects and may interfere with drug absorption.

EGCG is a powerful compound that can benefit health by reducing inflammation, helping to lose weight and preventing certain chronic diseases.

It is most abundant in green tea, but is also found in other plant foods.

When taken as a supplement, EGCG has occasionally been associated with serious side effects. The safest way is to consult with your healthcare provider before adding EGCG to your routine to ensure that this supplement is right for you.



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