Thursday, May 31, 2012

Green Tea Compound for Radioprotection by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

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Green Tea Compound for Radioprotection

By Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

Food Freedom News,  May 30, 2012

Green tea polyphenol antioxidant protects against bystander effects of low dose ionizing radiation that damage cells and cause numerous diseases including cancer.

The recent discovery of bystander effects from low levels of ionizing radiation has thrown risk assessment and radioprotection into disarray [1] (Bystander Effects Multiply Dose and Harm from Ionizing Radiation, SiS 55). However, it has also led to the discovery of potential mitigating measures against exposure to radioactivity, especially from nuclear accidents like Chernobyl (and Fukushima), the devastation health impacts of which are still surfacing 25 years later [2] (Chernobyl Deaths Top a Million Based on Real Evidence. SiS 55).

Ionizing radiation has been known to produce free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), predominantly by ionizing water, the most abundant molecules in tissues and cells (see [1] for an explanation of ROS). ROS are responsible for oxidative damage to DNA, proteins, and lipids, initiating cell death, genomic instability and other consequences of radiation, both in cells that have been directly targeted, and in bystander cells that have not been irradiated [1]. There is evidence that various antioxidants can protect cells against bystander radiation damages, and new findings published online in Mutation Research appear particularly promising.

Ashu Tiku and Benila Richi at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and Roasaheb Kale at Central University of Gujarat in India may have found the ideal antioxidant for radioprotectopm [3].

Non-toxic compound needed for radioprotection

One main problem in radioprotection is to find compounds that are non-toxic or minimally so, and natural compounds fit the bill in being both non-toxic and easily available.  Green tea is a rich source of polyphenols with strong antioxidant activities. Green tea extracts and its polyphenols have been shown to possess many health benefits attributed to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (see [4, 5] Green Tea, The Elixir of Life? and Green Tea Against Cancers, SiS 33). Most of the health benefits of green tea have been credited to the major polyphenol EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) (Figure 1), which constitutes 55 – 70 % of total polyphenols in green tea extract. Its antioxidant potential is believed to be far greater than vitamin E and vitamin C, the two main antioxidants among vitamins [6].

Figure 1   EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) from green tea

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Food Freedom News


Institute of Science in Society

You may wish to read this article if you think that adding green tea to your diet isn't a good idea:

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