Green tea could help to combat bone-marrow disorders

  • Article by: Jan Bieschke, Washington University
  • Thursday 9th February 2017

Green tea lovers already know that its miraculous properties have excellent health benefits but a new study claims it can also help fight several major diseases.

A compound found in green tea may have life-saving potential for patients with often-fatal medical complications associated with bone-marrow disorders.

According to researchers at Washington University, the polyphenol compound known as epigallocatechine-3-gallate or EGCG found in green tea leaves may be of particular benefit to patients struggling with multiple myeloma cancer and amyloidosis. This is when parts of the body’s own antibodies become misshapen and can accumulate in various organs, including the heart and kidneys.

‘The idea here is twofold: we wanted to better understand how light chain amyloidosis works, and how the green tea compound affects this specific protein,’ said Jan Bieschke, assistant professor at Washington University.

Bieschke previously examined the green tea compound EGCG’s effect in both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and found it prevented dangerous buildups of protein present in both diseases. ‘The ECGC pulled the light chain into a different type of aggregate that was not toxic and did not form fibril structures’ said Bieschke. He added that clinical trials were taking place with Alzheimer’s in Berlin and with Parkinson’s in China to examine the process in people, rather than in a test tube. ‘We all want this compound to work in a patient’ said Bieschke.

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