EGCG: In Green Tea Extract, Benefits, Use, Dosage, and Side Effects

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Last updated on May 13th, 2023 at 10:11 am

In our daily life, we face many problems and health-related issues due to excessive workloads and hectic schedules. We tried many things including yoga, exercises, taking vitamins, taking minerals, and several supplements to keep us fit and fine. Today we discuss EGCG its facts, benefits, its drawbacks, and its applications, and how it might help you to stay fit and healthy. According to the research it is found that EGCG is 100 times more effective than Vitamin C and 25 times more effective than Vitamin E.

What is EGCG:

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a unique plant compound that came to the limelight for its powerful impact on human health. EGCG can reduce inflammation, help weight management, and aid heart and brain disease.
EGCG is a compound known as catechin. Catechins are further categorized into different groups of polyphenols known as flavonoids. Catechin is an antioxidant and plays a major role in the protection of cells. EGCG can protect our body from free radicals which are harmful and cause oxidative stress. These chemicals are produced in our bodies during non-enzymatic reactions of oxygen which are accelerated due to environmental and lifestyle-related factors.
Catechins like EGCG may help prevent several diseases and also helps in reducing inflammation, preventing many chronic conditions including heart diseases, diabetes, and certain cancers.

EGCG Green Tea Extract & Its Sources

EGCG just like any other catechin exists naturally in several plants such as tea, berries, cocoa, and fruits and is also available as a dietary supplement. EGCG is a major active compound of green tea or green tea extract and is found in it in the highest concentration.

  • Tea: black, oolong, white, and green teas. The concentration of EGCG is higher in white tea as compared to green tea.
  • Fruits: cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, kiwis, cherries, pears, apples, and avocados.
  • Nuts: pecans, pistachios, and hazelnuts.
  • Herbs and spices: Cinnamon, Parsley, Turmeric, Cloves, Thyme, Rosemary, Sage.
  • Other Sources: Red wine, legumes, and dark chocolate.

EGCG Benefits:

EGCG is a dihydroxyphenyl compound that gets its anti-oxidant properties from the hydroxyl groups in its structure which have several potential benefits including anti-aging, reducing inflammation in our body, reducing body weight, and improving heart and brain health. It may be used as a prophylactic and adjunct treatment method for several diseases.

As an antioxidant:

EGCG is known for its ability to chelate transition metals such as iron, copper, and zinc which helps in the better metabolism of such minerals and helps in the production of enzymes that control oxidation. Additionally, EGCG shows scavenging activity against ROS such as superoxide anions, hydrogen peroxide, and hydroxyl radicals which are free radicals and cause oxidation in the body.
However, EGCG in certain cases may act as a pro-oxidant and can promote the formation of reactive oxygen species such as hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radicals, especially in the presence of transition metals like iron, due to its ability to undergo redox cycling which is beneficial in most cases but can cause more harm than good if uncontrolled.

As an Anti-inflammatory:

EGCG slows down the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by preventing the activation of pro-inflammatory gene expressions through NF-κB. It also slows down the production of inflammatory hormones.
Furthermore, EGCG regulates the activities of cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX), which are involved in the synthesis of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids.
The anti-inflammatory action of EGCG may help control several chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. It may also increase cognitive function in certain conditions. However, more research is needed to confirm these effects on a large scale.

EGCG For Weight loss management:

EGCG can also promote weight loss and as the most bioactive component of green tea, it is thought to be the reason for the weight loss effect of green tea. A daily dose of 2 cups of green tea may result in a reduction in weight and body fat. Recently in a research study, it was found that green tea can reduce the risk of age-related brain decline as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Blood sugar and Insulin benefits:

Some clinical studies suggest that treatment with EGCG can lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and increase the circulation of blood in the body. According to data from the study, EGCG improves insulin sensitivity in the body and maintains a balanced blood flow.

Dosage and Side Effects of EGCG:

Researchers recommend a safe intake level of 338 mg per day when taken as a supplement.

Generally, EGCG consumption should be limited to 800 mg. A daily intake exceeding 800 mg per day can increase the risk of liver damage

It is important to be cautious when taking EGCG supplements as excessive use can be harmful. Some people may not tolerate EGCG well due to rapid degradation by bacteria in the large intestine.

EGCG supplements may have side effects such as:

  • Dizziness,
  • Low blood sugar
  • Anemia

*Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult their healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplements to ensure safety.
*In some cases high-dose EGCG may lead to liver and kidney failure.

Bottom Line:

The anti-oxidant benefits of EGCG are well-documented and are supported by preliminary research. It helps regulate not only the metabolism of essential minerals but also controls pro-inflammatory cytokines production these effects of EGCG make it useful as a daily supplement for general health and also as an adjunct therapy for several health issues such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and some cancers.
It is important to know that most of its health benefits are not yet known completely and need more research in order to be comprehensively understood, thus it must be used under proper guidance.