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Green Tea Compounds Help to Protect Skin

Posted Feb 09 2013 10:08pm

Green tea contains between 30 and 40% of water-extractable polyphenols, and is particularly abundant catechins – most notably, epigallocatechn gallate (EGCG), for which some studies suggest a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health and weight management.   Lesley E. Rhodes, from the University of Manchester (United Kingdom), and colleagues enrolled 14 healthy men and women, average age 42.5 years, with their skin, and gave them low-dose green tea catechin supplements added daily dose of 540 mg in combination with a vitamin C dose of 50 mg, for 12 weeks. The effects of the supplements were quantified by exposures to UV light before and after supplementation. Results showed that levels of metabolites of green tea catechins increase in skin fluid after supplementation, and erythema (skin redness)  levels were reduced after the 12-week supplementation period. The team also observed that whereas UV exposure increased key markers of inflammation, green tea supplementation reduced that effect. The study authors submit that the data suggests that green tea exerts: "protection against sunburn inflammation and potentially longer-term UVR-mediated damage.”

Lesley E. Rhodes, Gemma Darby, Karen A. Massey, Kayleigh A. Clarke, Tristan P. Dew, Mark D. Farrar, et al.  “Oral green tea catechin metabolites are incorporated into human skin and protect against UV radiation-induced cutaneous inflammation in association with reduced production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoid 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid.”  British Journal of Nutrition, 28 January 2013.

  
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