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Brain Antioxidants
And EGCG Research


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Brain antioxidants and free radical damage

Cells in your brain can be damaged by chemicals called free radicals. Antioxidants help protect against this damage.

Your brain is particularly susceptible because of each cell’s high metabolic needs and fatty acid structures.

A great deal of research has concentrated on the usefulness of antioxidants to protect brain function over a lifetime.

Researchers have recently tested EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), the primary antioxidant (a polyphenol flavonoid catechin) from green tea in an animal study of aging brains.

EGCG effects show brain antioxidant improvement

For 30 days, oral intake of EGCG was compared with placebo saline.

Researchers found that EGCG improved the following enzymatic antioxidants in the brain:

  • superoxide dismutase

      Superoxide dismutase (SOD) protects your cells from superoxide toxicity, is a powerful anti-inflammatory molecule, and may be associated with longer lifespans.

  • glutathione peroxidase

      This is a wide-spread antioxidant which protects against lipid hydroperoxides.

  • glutathione reductase

      This is another antioxidant in the glutathione pathways.

  • catalase

      Catalase molecules actively convert hydrogen peroxide (a metabolic byproduct) back to oxygen and hydrogen at the rate of millions per second. A deficiency of catalase may be implicated in type 2 diabetes and graying hair.

  • and, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase,

      This enzyme supports the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP) pathway which supports glutathione levels in the cell.

and the following non-enzymatic antioxidants:

  • tocopherol (Vitamin E)

      Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin which functions as an antioxidant and supports lipid systems throughout the body including brain, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems.

  • ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)

      Vitamin C is a water-soluble essential vitamin involved in many enzymatic reactions throughout the body. It is not synthesized by humans and must be consumed in the daily diet.

  • and, glutathione

      Glutathione is a peptide (protein) molecule which functions as an antioxidant and helps regulate the cellular nitric acid cycle. It is important for the immune system, nervous system, gastrointestinal system, and respiratory system where it helps with DNA synthesis and repair, protein synthesis and transport, and other enzyme systems.

Green tea reduced damage

EGCG also reduced free radical damage as shown by lowering malondialdehyde and protein carbonyl levels in the brain (Srividhya R et al, Attenuation of senescence-induced oxidative exacerbations in aged rat brain by (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate, International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, December 2007, p 217-223).

This brain antioxidants study is preliminary and more work is needed to track functional benefits for the brain from green tea EGCG.

The importance of protecting our brain over time

Every culture has treasured the gathered wisdom of their elders.

We all mourn the loss of their knowledge when their brains become too damaged by age to function.

And we ask how much more could they have contributed if they were functional longer.

So we look for ways to keep their cherished wisdom alive.

One way is to learn how to prevent age-related damage to the brain for our own quality of life, as well as for others.

A wise person once said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Perhaps it can also begin with one cup of green tea.



What else can EGCG from green tea offer you besides

brain antioxidants?




What's the number 1 lifestyle change for anti-aging?

Read more



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This page last updated by Sharon Jones.


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