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Green Tea Compound May Reduce Type-1 Diabetes Risk

Posted Dec 29 2010 11:19pm
Posted on 2010-12-29 06:00:00 in Diabetes | Functional Foods |

Type-1 diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce insulin after the cells in the pancreas have been damaged, and some experts suggest the condition is an autoimmune response. Green tea is rich in antioxidant compounds called catechins, which have been the focus of many previous studies on green tea, due to their anti-oxidative properties and their potential role in preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease. Zhuo Fu, from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia, USA), and colleagues studied epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a key type of green tea catechin, in a laboratory animal model involving mice which spontaneously develop type-1 diabetes.  The animals were divided into two groups: One group was fed the control diet, while the second was fed a control diet, while the second group had a supplemental dose of EGCG in their drinking water (0.05%)  When the animals reached 32 weeks of age, the researchers report that 67% of the animals in the control group had become diabetic, while diabetes affected only 25%of the mice in the EGCG group  As well, the EGCG- supplemented mice consistently had higher insulin levels and survival rates than the control animals. An elevation in the levels of anti-inflammatory compounds was also observed in the EGCG animals. The team concludes that: “These findings demonstrate that EGCG may be a novel, plant-derived compound capable of reducing the risk of [Type-1 diabetes].”

Zhuo Fu, Wei Zhen, Julia Yuskavage, Dongmin Liu.  “Epigallocatechin gallate delays the onset of type 1 diabetes in spontaneous non-obese diabetic mice.”  British Journal of Nutrition, 9 December 2010; doi:10.1017/S0007114510004824.

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant compound found in green tea, may reduce the risk of developing Type-1 diabetes, in a lab animal model.
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