Green Tea Compounds Prevent Organ Damage, Extend Healthy Lifespan
New research published in the Journal of Nutrition provides evidence that potent epicatechin flavonoids from extracts of green tea and cocoa lower the destructive effects of high blood sugar. This can effectively prevent damage that ravages the major organs and especially the coronary arteries lining the heart muscle.
Diabetes is a disease that is growing at an epidemic rate and decreases life expectancy by as much as eight years. Death occurs as a result of complications from multiple chronic conditions. Scientists found that epicatechin flavonoids inhibit the cellular damage caused by rising blood sugar levels and can prevent damage to the heart and liver. Regular supplementation can improve life expectancy by halting organ damage leading to chronic illness.
Epicatechin Flavonoids Shown to Dramatically Extend Life in Mice
This body of research was conducted using five-week old diabetic mice known to present similar metabolic characteristics to humans. Mice were provided drinking water containing .25% epicatechin flavonoids for a period of 15 weeks. This group was compared with lean mice acting as a control. At the end of the study, half of the non-diabetic control mice had died compared with only 8.4% of the diabetic mice provided the epicatechin-supplemented drink. Both groups received the same diet and there was no difference in body weight as the study concluded.
Treatment with the epicatechin-infused water resulted in a significant reduction in deterioration of the aortic vessel of the heart and the liver. Additionally, less fat was found to accumulate in the liver of the treated mice, an important factor known to cause progression of metabolic diseases including diabetes and lipid abnormalities. One of the most striking findings in the supplemented animals was a reduced level of systemic inflammation caused by oxidized LDL cholesterol and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).
Green Tea Compound Lowers Inflammation Markers and Disease Risk
Many prior studies have demonstrated that sustained high levels of IGF-1 in the circulating blood are consistent with chronic disease and shortened life span. Because of the effect exerted by epicatechin compounds extracted from green tea and cocoa products, the study authors determined that the data derived “further suggests that epicatechin may be a food-derived, anti-aging compound given the important role of IGF-1 in regulating the life span of organisms.”
The potent health-inducing nature of green tea has been in evidence for more than 5,000 years as countless Asian generations have cultivated the plant for medicinal purposes. Nutrition advisors recommend taking 2 to 4 cups of fresh brewed green tea each day or supplementing with 250 to 500 mg of the EGCG active compound found in green tea to lower disease risk and increase healthy lifespan.
John Phillip is a diet, health and nutrition researcher and writer with a passion for understanding weight loss challenges and encouraging health modification through natural diet, lifestyle and targeted supplementation. John’s passion is to research and write about the cutting edge alternative health technologies that affect our lives.
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Article updated on: August 8th, 2011