WHAT IS EPIGALLOCATECHIN GALLATE?
Epigallocatechin gallate (also known as EGCG or epigallocatechin-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 epigallocatechin gallate.
WHEN WAS EPIGALLOCATECHIN GALLATE DISCOVERED?
Epigallocatechin 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 EPIGALLOCATECHIN GALLATE?
Epigallocatechin gallate is one of the most potent flavan-3-ols and has numerous health benefits. The list below outlines some of the main roles of epigallocatechin gallate in the human body:
– Acting as an anti-inflammatory (a substance which reduces inflammation within the body).
– Acting as an antioxidant and protecting the body against damaging free radicals (harmful by-products of oxygen based reactions).
– Preventing arteriosclerosis (the hardening and loss of elasticity within the arteries).
– Preventing arthritis (inflammation of the joints).
– Preventing heart disease.
– Preventing hepatitis (inflammation of the liver).
– Promoting fat oxidation (the conversion of fat into energy).
– Protecting the body’s deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from damage.
– Protecting the nervous system from damage.
– Reducing blood levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (which builds up on the artery walls and causes blockages).
– Reducing high blood pressure.
– Supporting healthy bones.
– Treating diabetes (by improving glucose tolerance and insulin production).
– Treating various types of cancer (including bladder cancer, brain cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer and skin cancer).
There are also a number of studies which suggest that epigallocatechin gallate may have further health benefits. However, more research needs to be performed before these health benefits are confirmed. The list below outlines these possible health benefits of epigallocatechin gallate:
– Possibly preventing Huntington’s disease (a neurodegenerative disorder which affects cognitive function and muscular coordination).
– Possibly preventing Sjögren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disorder where the immune cells attack the glands which produce tears and saliva).
– Possibly treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (epigallocatechin gallate has been shown to treat the symptoms of HIV in the laboratory but these effects have not been replicated in live human trials).
HOW MUCH EPIGALLOCATECHIN GALLATE DO YOU NEED?
Epigallocatechin gallate is not considered essential for human health so currently there is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for this phytonutrient. However, some studies suggest that relatively high quantities of at least 2,000 milligrams (mg) per day need to be consumed before any health benefits can be realised. Consuming up to 4,000mg of epigallocatechin gallate each day (approximately 20 cups of green tea) is thought to be safe.
WHICH FOODS CONTAIN EPIGALLOCATECHIN GALLATE?
Carob flour is the richest source of epigallocatechin gallate but nuts, fruits and tea are also very good sources. The table below outlines some of the best epigallocatechin gallate foods:
|FOOD||MG OF EPIGALLOCATECHIN GALLATE PER 100 GRAMS (G)
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF GETTING TOO MUCH EPIGALLOCATECHIN GALLATE?
Consuming high levels of epigallocatechin gallate can interfere with its antioxidant and cancer fighting action and may lead to the following negative effects:
– Accelerating the rate of oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
– Interfering with anti-cancer drugs.
– Interfering with herbs and medications.
– Increasing cancer risk in neonatal infants (children aged between 1 and 4 weeks old).
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF NOT GETTING ENOUGH EPIGALLOCATECHIN GALLATE?
Epigallocatechin is not considered essential for human health so there are no reported deficiency symptoms.
EPIGALLOCATECHIN GALLATE SUMMARY
Epigallocatechin gallate is one of the most potent flavan-3-ols available. As you can see it is highly protective and has health benefits in almost every area of the body. So make sure you unlock these benefits by supping on green tea, snacking on nuts and eating fruit on a regular basis.
EGCG Health Benefits and Side Effects (Zhion)
Epigallocatechin Gallate (Phytochemicals.info)
Epigallocatechin Gallate (Wikipedia)
List of Phytochemicals in Food (Wikipedia)
What is Phytochemical? (Juicing For Health)
USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods