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Genes Nutr. 2009 Dec;4(4):283-96. doi: 10.1007/s12263-009-0143-4. Epub 2009 Sep 10.

Neuroprotective molecular mechanisms of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate: a reflective outcome of its antioxidant, iron chelating and neuritogenic properties.

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1
Eve Topf and USA National Parkinson Foundation Centers of Excellence for Neurodegenerative Diseases Research, Technion-Faculty of Medicine, Haifa, Israel. worly@tx.technion.ac.il

Abstract

Tea, the major source of dietary flavonoids, particularly the epicatechins, signifies the second most frequently consumed beverage worldwide, which varies its status from a simple ancient cultural drink to a nutrient component, endowed possible beneficial neuro-pharmacological actions. Accumulating evidence suggests that oxidative stress, resulting in reactive oxygen species generation, plays a pivotal role in neurodegenerative diseases, supporting the implementation of radical scavengers and metal chelating agents, such as natural tea polyphenols, for therapy. Vast epidemiology data indicate a correlation between occurrence of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, and green tea consumption. In particular, recent literature strengthens the perception that diverse molecular signaling pathways, participating in the neuroprotective activity of the major green tea polyphenol, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), renders this natural compound as potential agent to reduce the risk of various neurodegenerative diseases. In the current review, we discuss the studies concerning the mechanisms of action implicated in EGCG-induced neuroprotection and discuss the vision to translate these findings into a lifestyle arena.

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