Researchers were testing the health benefits and effects of EGCG, the predominant antioxidant found in green tea, on laboratory mice that had type 1 diabetes, as well as Sjogren’s syndrome, which depletes moisture-producing glands.
The main focus of this study was on the effects that EGCG had on Sjogren’s syndrome, “so learning that EGCG could also prevent and delay insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes was a big surprise”, says Dr. Stephen Hsu, a molecular and cellular biologist in the Medical College of Georgia’s School of Dentistry.
In the test mice, the EGCG reduced the overall severity, as well as delayed the eventual onset of, salivary gland damage caused by Sjogren’s syndrome, which has no known cure to date.
Dr. Hsu went on to say, “EGCG modulates several important genes, so it suppresses the abnormality at the molecular level in the salivary gland. It also lowered the serum autoantibodies, reducing the severity of Sjogren’s syndrome.” Autoantibodies are a form of antibodies, which the body produces, that act against itself.
Sjogren’s syndrome and type 1 diabetes are both autoimmune diseases, which cause the body to ‘attack itself’. Autoimmune disorders are the 3rd most common group of diseases in the U.S. Sjogren’s syndrome can occur on its own, or secondarily to another autoimmune disease, like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or type 1 diabetes.
Researchers treated the group of mice with either water, or a concentrated form of EGCG dissolved in water. At 16 weeks, the mice that had been given the EGCG were 601% more likely to be diabetes-free than the mice which were fed water alone. – via GreenTeaInformation
Image courtesy of Kervinchong