Duchenne/Becker Muscular Dystrophy (DBMD or DMD), is an inherited genetic condition causing muscles to deteriorate.
It occurs in approximately 500 newborn boys in the United States every year.
It is extremely rare for a girl to have muscular dystrophy, although women can carry the gene.
The boys are usually diagnosed between the age of 3 and 6 years old, and by age 12 are usually unable to walk.
It is almost always fatal in the teenage years or by the early 20's.
There is currently no cure for muscular dystrophy, but steroids have been used to slow the muscular degeneration (CDC).
Now a new study may open doors for more research on EGCG and muscular dystrophy.
EGCG from green tea
Using an animal model of muscular dystrophy, researchers injected EGCG, the primary antioxidant catechin in green tea, under the skin of the backs of mice. This was done 4 times a week for 8 weeks.
Compared to controls, the EGCG injections lowered the serum creatine kinase levels to normal.
Lipofuscin granules in the muscles were reduced by 50%.
Lipofuscin, also called liver spots when found on the skin, is a fatty pigment considered a sign of early aging.
The EGCG research mice also had almost double the amount of normal muscle tissue, with a substantial reduction in damaged muscle and connective tissue.
The strength of the muscles also increased to almost normal (Nakae Y, Histochemistry and Cell Biology, 2008).
This study is considered preliminary and further studies are needed to know if these benefits of EGCG and muscular dystrophy research would be long term, or would be useful for people with muscular dystrophy.
Other muscular dystrophy research directions
Other studies are exploring antisense drugs that isolate the toxic RNA of this disease, thereby providing symptomatic relief (Wheeler T et al, Targeting nuclear RNA for in vivo correction of myotonic dystrophy, Nature, August 2012, page 111).
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This page last updated by Sharon Jones.
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