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The Benefits of Epigallocatechin Gallate

by
author image Cydney Walker
Cydney Walker is a registered dietitian and personal trainer who began writing about nutrition and exercise during her dietetic internship in 2000. She has been featured in "Voices" and by the National Medical Association for her HIV research. She earned her master's degree in human sciences from Texas A&M University in Kingsville.
The Benefits of Epigallocatechin Gallate
Cup of green tea with jasmine Photo Credit Yulia_Davidovich/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG is a polyphenols compound found in green tea. EGCG is supposed to be the active compound that is responsible for antioxidant properties of green tea and possibly fat burning properties. In Chinese medicine, EGCG is used to manage hormone levels with treatment for benign prostate hyperplasia to acne. EGCG may prove to be beneficial for many conditions for men and women.

Androgenic Action

EGCG activity inside your body can inhibit dihydrotestosterone or DHT activity. DHT plays a role in testosterone activity in the body. As you age, your testosterone production and activity decrease, but DHT, a byproduct of testosterone, levels and action increase with age. DHT activity has been associated with balding, increased prostate gland size and for women the development of male sex characteristics. The gallate part of EGCG provides an inhibition to DHT activity in the body and can help reduce DHT activity in the body by binding to DHT receptors in your body, according to S. Liao in “The Medicinal Action of Androgens and Green Tea Epigallocatechin Gallate.”

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Cancer Protection

EGCG may work to prevent cancer at the cellular level. According to Julius Goepp, M.D. with Life Extension Magazine, EGCG works to prevent cancer by intervening with cellular action and growth. People who drink green tea have less frequent episodes of cancer and when cancer is present, it is less severe than persons who don’t consume green tea. Dr. Goepp also adds EGCG can be useful for preventing or lessening the severity of breast, prostate, mouth, pancreas and colon cancers because of the protective action of EGCG. High green tea consumption with Asian cultures could be the “paradox” reasoning for Asians to have low cancer rates, despite certain behaviors, such as smoking is common, but they have lower heart disease and cancer rates than Americans who smoke.

Alter Body Fat Levels

Consumption of green tea and EGCG can reduce total body weight and body fat levels. Dr. Goepps states EGCG increases your body’s metabolism and the ability to burn fat. Visceral fat or fat in your abdomen seems to be particularly susceptible and active to EGCG effects. EGCG is important and beneficial for people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and are overweight. The mode of action for EGCG may increase delivery of stored fat to cells for oxidation or increase fat burning capabilities. Alison Hill and colleagues in “Can EGCG Reduce Abdominal Fat in Obese Subjects,” found EGCG did not promote fat loss, but stated a higher dose of EGCG along with caffeine may produce increased fat loss. Hill and colleagues did find subjects with glucose issues had a reduction in circulating glucose levels, which often accompanies weight issues.

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References

Demand Media