Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) Reviews

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) Reviews

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) The one responsible for the glory of the green tea

With the progress of science, we start to understand more about the positive effects that some plants have on us. Furthermore, we understand exactly which components are responsible for this. Such is the case with green tea and one of its main components – EGCG.

What is EGCG?

Behind this strange acronym stands more bizarre full name – epigallocatechin-3-gallate. In some places, you will see the name and no number.

In green tea, as well as in some other varieties grown from the plant Camellia sinensis, contains so-called catechins. Nowadays there are still tests on the number of positive effects on the human body.

In the green tea catechins are 4:

  • epigallocatechin (EGC)
  • epicatechin gallate (ECG)
  • epicatechin (EC)
  • epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG).

EGCG, which is the focus of our article is the most popular and is considered the most useful.

What are its main effects?

Green tea is famous for thousands of years and even then was used for medical purposes.

Today is known as an anticancer agent, to protect the cardiovascular and nervous system, to fight diabetes, obesity, and many others.

Fortunately, science allows us to see better what it really can and what not.

Proven and potential benefits:

Improve cholesterol levels – science shows a small but significant decrease of the “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and increase in “good” (HDL).

Improve insulin sensitivity – the data are few and inconclusive, but some studies have shown the potential of green tea and EGCG to improve insulin sensitivity.

Anticancer properties – at this stage green tea and EGCG managed to prove only as a possible preventive measure, reducing the risk for development of cancer cells. There are dozens of one examination for different types of cancer.

Supports cardiovascular system – a large complex of various studies suggest green tea’s catechins and polyphenols as responsible for the great support of the heart and its function.

Weight loss – there are not one or two studies that support the efficacy of green tea, rich in EGCG in the fight against obesity. Unfortunately, this effect could be minimal for people, who regularly consume coffee and caffeine in high doses.

Powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory remedy – because of its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties EGCG is the subject of research in the fight against harmful effects of sunlight on the skin, some immunological diseases, and arthritis. It is believed that EGCG is twice as a powerful antioxidant than vitamin C.

EGCG is also perfect to improve blood circulation to help the body’s resistance against diseases, even to maintain good oral hygiene. EGCG rejuvenates and prolongs life.

What is the mechanism of absorption?

Adopted by green tea as a beverage or as a dietary supplement, EGCG is absorbed mainly in the small intestine, but unfortunately, the percentage of absorbed component can easily be shortened considerably if not accepted and stored appropriately.

Factors significantly reducing the absorption of EGCG:

  • store with free access to air;
  • parallel intake of calcium and magnesium;
  • glucuronidation – a process in the intestines and liver, doing a number of substances more water-soluble in order to eliminate them.

Factors that increase the absorption:

  • store in a cool, dry place in a well-sealed container;
  • intake on an empty stomach;
  • normal or high levels of albumin in the blood;
  • parallel intake of vitamin C or fish oil.

How can we obtain EGCG?

Available as a dietary supplement in almost all cases you will find it in the form of an extract from the leaves of green tea.

The extracts can be of different strengths, so be careful before you buy it. You’ll find with a concentration of EGCG from 20% to 90%.

The other way is to drink green tea as a beverage from tea bags soaked in hot water. Unfortunately, this kind of acceptance is far from what can be obtained from dietary supplements.

Aside from the quality of the tea, the method of preparation and storage, in order to get 200 mg EGCG, you have to drink about 4 cups of tea. By dietary supplement, that amount may be replaced with a small capsule.

Optimal dosage and how to take it?

Effective doses vary between 400 mg and 800 mg of EGCG per day. In the form of a drink is equivalent to 8-16 cups of green tea.

In addition, for maximum absorption recommended intake to be on an empty stomach in combination with vitamin C and fish oil.

Possible side effects

In general, EGCG is safe at doses up to 800 mg per day. Higher doses above 1000 mg EGCG, may result in nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and other conditions.

In conclusion

Although the full story behind green tea’s polyphenols, particularly EGCG continue to be investigated. Apparently, ancient plant has still some unsolved mysteries and hidden answers to other important questions.

Undoubtedly everyone would obtain health benefits of green leaves and their ingredients, and if you are lucky will also get rid of some extra kilos.

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About Jane Peterson

Jane Peterson is a supportive nutrition and fitness coach and registered dietitian nutritionist known for her health advices and innovative ideas to inspire and motivate people to reach their goals. She has a passion for personal training and enjoys motivating people, using specific exercise programs and track their progression for success. As a parent herself, Jane Peterson knows what it means to have to work hard to keep a good shape during pregnancy and after having a baby. She is interested about improving the way children eat, pediatric nutrition and family meal planning. Jane has several years of personal and professional experience and is practicing as a freelance food and health writer. She works personally with a small number of hand picked clients, transforming their health and their physiques using her four key elements of wellness: lifestyle, exercise, nutrition and supplementation.