Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) as a Powerful Antioxidant

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No other food or beverage has garnered such a following like green tea. Green tea, lauded for its chemo-preventive and antioxidant qualities, drawing significant attention in studies on obesity, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The secret to green tea’s superfood status lies in its polyphenols, particularly catechins like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

EGCG, a potent antioxidant, is central to green tea’s health benefits, contributing to its reputation as a superfood. But what exactly is EGCG, and how does it impact our health?

What Is Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)?

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) tea leaves

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a catechin prominently found in tea, standing out among the main polyphenols such as:

  • Epigallocatechin
  • Epicatechin-3-gallate
  • Epicatechin
  • Gallocatechins
  • gallocatechin gallate.

EGCG is the most dominant and extensively researched tea polyphenol, celebrated for its potent antioxidant properties. It has drawn significant scientific interest for its potential benefits to liver, heart, brain, and overall health, making it a focal point in studies exploring the impact of natural compounds on human well-being.

Why Antioxidants Are Important for Good Health

Antioxidants are molecules that fight oxidative stress by neutralizing harmful free radicals, protecting cells from damage. They’re crucial for maintaining health and preventing chronic diseases, thus potentially extending both lifespan and healthspan.

EGCG, believed to be a potent antioxidant found in green tea, plays a significant role in this protective mechanism. By scavenging free radicals and enhancing cellular antioxidant defenses, EGCG helps prevent cellular damage, reduces inflammation, and supports overall well-being, contributing to healthier aging and disease prevention.

Research on EGCG is extensive with consistent findings across numerous studies, including those on humans. For example, a notable study revealed that consuming at least two cups of green tea daily significantly reduces the risk of developing chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD). This provides further evidence on the potential health benefits of green tea and its active components in promoting overall health.

Health Benefits of Epigallocatechin gallate

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) woman relaxed

Heart Disease

EGCG, a predominant polyphenol in tea, has garnered attention for its potential in heart health promotion. It operates through various mechanisms, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions, which contribute to its cardiovascular benefits.

One large study on nearly 20,000 Norwegians without prior cardiovascular issues showed that green tea reduced cholesterol levels and blood pressure, further supporting EGCG’s cardiovascular advantages.

EGCG may help:

  • reduce lipid oxidation
  • boost antioxidant levels
  • lower inflammation in models of atherosclerosis

Scientists suggest it can enhance endothelial function, via improved artery dilation, potentially preventing vascular dysfunction and plaque buildup.

Its ability to activate specific pathways in endothelial cells might enhance various aspects of vascular health, making EGCG a promising candidate for heart health support and disease prevention, according to current research findings.

However, scientists continue to study ECGC, investigating how it works to better understand how EGCG can prevent heart disease.

Neurological Disease

Research has shown that EGCG may have neuroprotective benefits.

In individuals with Down syndrome, some studies have found that low doses of EGCG could improve cognitive functions such as episodic memory. These findings are promising, but it’s crucial to highlight that long-term studies in healthy adults are lacking, and no human studies have conclusively proven that EGCG can prevent cognitive decline.

The mechanisms through which EGCG may exert its neuroprotective effects include its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s thought to protect the brain by scavenging reactive oxygen species, reducing inflammation, and enhancing the detoxification of carcinogens.

The optimal doses of EGCG for neuroprotection in humans, its blood-brain-barrier permeability, and the long-term efficacy are still subjects of ongoing research. Therefore, while EGCG shows potential, more studies are needed to fully understand its benefits for brain health and its role in preventing neurodegenerative diseases.


EGCG, a key component in green tea, plays a crucial role in preventing cancer by targeting the disease at various stages.

Studie suggest that it works by:

  • Preventing initial cell damage by neutralizing harmful substances and boosting the body’s detoxification processes.
  • Stopping abnormal cell growth by triggering processes that halt cell division and promote cell death, maintaining a healthy balance.
  • Inhibiting the spread of cancer by blocking the formation of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and preventing cancer cells from invading other tissues.

Studies highlight EGCG’s potential as a leading natural strategy for cancer prevention, showcasing its ability to interfere with cancer at multiple points.

EGCG stands out among tea polyphenols for its promising cancer-preventive properties.

Skin Aging

Research has explored the potential of green tea polyphenols, especially EGCG, in safeguarding the skin against UV radiation damage.

These studies reveal mixed outcomes, and scientists have yet to discover how these compounds may function when ingested versus applied topically and their capacity for mending already damaged skin.

One study found that applying green tea extracts to the skin significantly reduced UV-induced erythema, sunburn cell formation, and DNA damage, suggesting green tea polyphenols can act as effective agents for photoprotection. EGCG and ECG were the most effective in these protective​​.

Another study with 60 female volunteers over 12 weeks demonstrated that consumption of a beverage with green tea polyphenols improved skin photoprotection, structure, and function, including reduced erythema, enhanced skin elasticity, roughness, and hydration, and increased blood flow and oxygen delivery to the skin​​.

Introducing EGCG Into Your Diet

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) cup of tea

EGCG, a key component in green tea, has been the focus of extensive research due to its antioxidant properties. Despite this, the scientific community acknowledges that it may take many more years to fully understand EGCG’s mechanisms and its potential health benefits.

Although promising as a dietary supplement, there is no universally accepted dosage for EGCG. However, a common approach in studies involves consuming
a cup of green tea, which typically contains about 200 mg of EGCG.

It’s important to note that the National Cancer Institute does not endorse green tea or EGCG as a cancer treatment. For those concerned about cancer risk, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, following a balanced diet, and regular medical check-ups remain the most reliable preventive measures.

If you have questions about EGCG, green tea, or any health problems discussed here, contact us and learn more. 

At Peak Human, our team of healthcare professionals helps you reach your ‘peak’ health with a custom whole-person approach. Using the most cutting-edge, science-backed biohacking and aesthetic tools available today, we help you achieve the highest physical/cognitive performance state, improving your overall quality of life.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for questions or to book an appointment. Get personalized support and insight from expert physicians.

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