According to a new study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology, a substance identified in green tea could possibly be an effective therapy for rheumatoid arthritis.
Investigators from Washington State University (WSU) uncover how the compound known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), decreased ankle swelling in a mouse model of the disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that influences the joints of the body, most usually the joints of the ankles, elbows knees, hands, feet, and wrists.
In Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the immune system mistakenly strikes the synovial tissues surrounding the joints, resulting in inflammation, swelling and pain. This can lead to harm to the cartilage and bone. In more severe situations, RA can cause joint deformity.
It is approximated that about 1.5 million individuals in the US have RA, and the condition is nearly 3 times more common in women than men.
Present therapies for RA consist of NSAIDs, corticosteroids, and JAK inhibitors. But research head Salahuddin Ahmed, notices that some of these therapies are costly, decrease immune system activity and can be unacceptable for long-term use.
In their research, Ahmed and colleagues recommend that the substance EGCG may be an appealing option to present therapies for RA.
EGCG targets key signaling protein to decrease RA inflammation
EGCG is a chemical substance that is a member of a class of flavanols well-known as catechins. It is most abundant in green tea and the dry leaves of white tea and the substance is identified to have anti-inflammatory qualities.
After providing EGCG to mouse models of RA for 10 days, the team recognized that therapy with the substance resulted in a major decrease in ankle swelling.
The investigators identified that EGCG decreases the activity of TAK1 – a key signaling protein via which pro-inflammatory cytokines transmit their signals to induce the inflammation and tissue damage identified in RA.
In addition, the team states that EGCG decreased inflammation in RA without interfering with other cellular functions – not like some present drugs for the disease.
According to Ahmed, their research indicates the green tea compound may be extremely effective against RA. The team concludes:
“Our outcomes provide a rationale for targeting TAK1 for the treatment of RA with EGCG.”
However, a more recent research published in Journal of Functional Foods stated that consuming excess amounts of green tea leads to health problems.