WHAT IS EPICATECHIN GALLATE?
Epicatechin gallate (also known as ECG or epicatechin-3-gallate) is one of the many flavan-3-ols that can be found in plant based foods and is part of the phytonutrient family (a group of chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants and have multiple health benefits but are not considered essential to human health). In this article I will be providing a full overview of epicatechin gallate.
WHEN WAS EPICATECHIN GALLATE DISCOVERED?
Epicatechin gallate and the other flavan-3-ols were first discovered and isolated in 1929 at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research in Japan by Dr Michiyo Tsujimura.
HOW DOES YOUR BODY USE EPICATECHIN GALLATE?
Epicatechin gallate has various functions in the human body. The list below outlines the main roles of this phytonutrient:
– Acting as an antioxidant and protecting the body’s cells from damaging free radicals (harmful by-products that are released during oxygen related reactions).
– Protecting against ultraviolet (UV) damage (which can damage the skin cells and cause skin cancer).
– Preventing various types of cancer (including breast cancer and skin cancer).
HOW MUCH EPICATECHIN GALLATE DO YOU NEED?
Epicatechin gallate is not considered essential for human health so currently has no official recommended daily allowance (RDA). However, many sources recommended that you consume no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of this phytonutrient each day.
WHICH FOODS CONTAIN EPICATECHIN GALLATE?
Tea is the most potent source of epicatechin gallate but it can also be found in black grapes. The table below outlines how much of this phytonutrient can be found in these foods:
|FOOD||MILLIGRAMS OF EPICATECHIN GALLATE PER 100 GRAMS (G)
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF GETTING TOO MUCH EPICATECHIN GALLATE?
Overdosing on epicatechin gallate may actually increase your risk of developing cancer by promoting tumour growth. The exact amounts that induce tumour growth are unknown but most sources suggest you should consume no more than 200 mg of this phytonutrient each day.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF NOT GETTING ENOUGH EPICATECHIN GALLATE?
Epicatechin gallate is not classed as an essential nutrient so there are no reported deficiency symptoms.
EPICATECHIN GALLATE SUMMARY
There is still a lot to learn about epicatechin gallate. However, the available research suggests that this phytonutrient is very good at protecting the body’s cells. Fortunately, epicatechin gallate can be easily added to your diet by brewing up a few times per day. So if you are not a huge fan of tea, give it another shot and see if you can find a blend that you like.