EGCG in green tea may help manage high blood pressure
Did you drink your epigallocatechin-3-gallate today?
You did if you drank a cup of green tea.
That awkwardly named polyphenol (better known as EGCG) is one of the key components that make green tea such a healthy beverage.
Researchers at the University of Wales recently tested EGCG on more than 45 subjects who took 400 mg of an EGCG supplement daily for eight weeks, while 42 subjects took a placebo. The study was designed to test the polyphenol’s effect on insulin sensitivity, but no benefit was found. However, subjects in the EGCG group reduced diastolic blood pressure and reported more positive mood, compared to placebo.
Other green tea studies have shown that EGCG may help reduce the beta-amyloid plaques that contribute to Alzheimer’s, and may even play a role in cancer prevention. But there could be one drawback to excessive EGCG intake.
A few years ago I told you about a UK study in which researchers found that EGCG inhibited cancer cell growth. But this study also showed that high levels of EGCG might reduce folate – the B vitamin that helps protect the heart, relieve depression, and reduce stroke risk.
Of course, green tea drinkers can address any potential folate deficiency by increasing dietary sources of folate (chicken liver, spinach, lentils, and asparagus), and by taking a folic acid supplement. But talk to your doctor before adding folic acid or EGCG supplements to your daily regimen.
“Green Tea Polyphenol Supports Healthy Blood Pressure and Improves Mood” Vitamin Research Products, October 2008, vrp.com