The Protective Benefit of Green Tea
Researchers at the National University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine have discovered a link between a component found in green tea, EGCG, and a protein that protects cells against Parkinson’s disease. Using fruit flies that had developed Parkinson’s, the team found that flies treated with EGCG showed greater movement ability and preservation of brain neurons than untreated flies of the same strain.
EGCG activates AMP kinase, a protein in the human body that helps prevent brain cells from stress-induced death. The component is also found in red wine. Researchers from the Singapore team hope to partner with pharmaceutical companies to develop a drug that can mimic the effects of EGCG and strongly activate AMP kinase. Such a development would be revolutionary in treating Parkinson’s disease as current treatment in the form of L-Dopa only offers symptomatic therapy rather than actual protection of brain cells.