Green Tea and Multiple Sclerosis
Another EGCG Miracle?

The relationship between green tea and multiple sclerosis has long been uncertain. Here is an early finding from a breakthrough study.

A 2007 study conducted by Dr. Orhan Aktas from Institute of Neuroimmunology, Berlin, revealed for the first time that green tea may one day help cure multiple sclerosis (MS).

According to Dr. Aktas, current MS patients do not have many options in preventing tissues damage and disability. However, with the discovery of molecules responsible for the onset of MS, new cures may be at hand.

Scientists have recently identified molecules responsible for the inflammatory and the neurogenerative processes in MS. They are called EAE, or experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

Green tea's powerful antioxidant EGCG has been known to combat inflammation and boost immunity. Perhaps it may have something to do with EAE?

This is indeed what Dr Aktas found. To quote him:

"We have recently identified a flavonoid (EGCG) as such a candidate with promising effects in the treatment of EAE."

He went on to conclude:

"As its structure implicates additional antioxidative properties, EGCG is capable of directly protecting against neuronal injury in living brain tissue induced by N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), and of directly blocking the formation of neurotoxic reactive oxygen species in neurons."

"Moreover, EGCG also protected neuronal tissue against the detrimental death ligand TRAIL in vitro, indicating a direct protection of the target CNS tissue in the course of autoimmune neuroinflammation."

"Thus, considering independent reports of the neuroprotective effects of polyphenols in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's Disease or stroke, EGCG constituents may open up a new therapeutic avenue for treating MS by combining anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective capacities."

What a relief! A cure is at hand. If you suffer from MS, please consult with a doctor before starting a tea diet programme. Also, beware of inferior quality green tea that is stimulating rather than soothing. Read the caffeine guide for further information.

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Aktas O, Waiczies S, Zipp F (2007). Neurodegeneration in autoimmune demyelination: recent mechanistic insights reveal novel therapeutic targets.  J Neuroimmunol. 2007 Mar;184(1-2):17-26. Epub 2007 Jan 10.

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