The study is published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, revealed that green tea may have properties to prevent deaths from heart attacks and strokes caused by atherosclerosis.
The researchers noted that a compound found in green tea, which is currently being studied for its ability to reduce amyloid plaques in the brain in Alzheimer's disease, also breaks up and dissolves potentially dangerous protein plaques found in the blood vessels, thereby boosting your heart health.
Atherosclerosis is the build-up of fatty material inside our arteries, which causes hindrance in the blood flow to heart and brain. In advanced stages of the condition, a protein called apolipoprotein A-1 (apoA-1) can form amyloid deposits, which are similar in structure to those associated with Alzheimer's disease.
As the plaque deposits increase, the blood flow is further restricted thereby , increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
The findings revealed that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), most commonly associated with green tea, binds to the amyloid fibers of apoA-1. This converted the fibers to smaller soluble molecules that are less likely to be damaging to blood vessels.
The team is now working on finding ways of introducing effective amounts of EGCG into the bloodstream without it being necessary to drink large and potentially harmful quantities of green tea.
This could involve modifying the chemical structure of EGCG, making it easier to be absorbed from the stomach and more resistant to metabolism, or developing new methods to deliver the molecule to the plaques - such as via an injection.
Researcher David Middleton said, "The health benefits of green tea have been widely promoted and it has been known for some time that EGCG can alter the structures of amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease. Our results show that this intriguing compound might also be effective against the types of plaques which can cause heart attacks and strokes."
Researcher Jeremy Pearson said, "Our bodies are very good at breaking down EGCG so swapping your cuppa for green tea is unlikely to make a big difference with respect to your heart health. But by engineering the molecule slightly, we might be able to make new medicines to treat heart attack and stroke."
Sheena Radford, the co-author of the research, said, "The findings of this round of studies are very encouraging. We now need to apply the best scientific techniques to find how we can take the molecular EGCG element from green tea, and turn it into a functioning tool to combat life-limiting health issues."
Here are a few health benefits of green tea you may not have known.
1. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants, polyphenols and flavonoids that not only boost immunity but also protect us against cough and flu.
2. Regular consumption of green tea also helps in lowering cholesterol level.
3. Green tea consumption has also known to facilitate healthy hair and clear skin, due to presence of vitamin E and C.
4. It also has an active ingredient called Catechins that help in boosting metabolism and further lose weight.
5. According to a study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology. A phytochemical called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is a molecule with anti-inflammatory properties found in green tea has high potential as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis because of how effectively the molecule blocks the effects of the disease without blocking other cellular functions.
(With Inputs From ANI)