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Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2012 Dec;137(51-52):2738-40. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1327348. Epub 2012 Dec 11.

[Anti-inflammatory effects of tea-flavonoids].

[Article in German]

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Fachpraxis für Innere Medizin und Gastroenterologie, Marienhospital Darmstadt.


Tea flavonoids belong to the large group of polyphenols and display antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic activities. These phytochemicals are xenobiotics and are synthesized by tea plants such as Camellia sinensis and Camomilla recucita. These botanicals exhibit in vivo activities similar to that of biologicals which are widely used for chronic inflammatory diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, chronic inflammatory bowel disease). Epigallocathechin gallate and apigenin from these plants inhibit cytokines, chemokines and activated immune cells in vivo and in vitro. Clinical disorders with induced inflammatory pathways could benefit from flavonoid treatment. Dietary supplementation with specific tea-flavonoids could be used for Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Suppression of cytokine production could ultimately lead to inhibition of carcinogenesis. This mechanism could explain why flavonoids are effective in the prevention of intestinal neoplasia. This innovative new form of therapy should be tested in controlled, randomized clinical studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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