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Green Tea Compound Lowers Risk Of Type 1 Diabetes Onset In Mice

December 9, 2010: 08:58 PM EST

U.S. researchers working with mice have found that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a compound found in green tea, reduced the risk of developing type 1 diabetes by about 40 percent, probably due to the compound’s anti-inflammatory activity. In the study, which used mice that spontaneously develop type-1 diabetes, one group was fed a control diet, while a second group was given a supplemental dose of EGCG in drinking water. At 32 weeks more than two-thirds of the animals in the control group had developed diabetes, while only a fourth of the EGCG group developed diabetes. The researchers suggested that EGCG probably “exerts a cytoprotective effect on human pancreatic islets exposed to the inflammatory milieu relevant to type 1 diabetes” but said further studies are needed to determine the exact mechanism before clinical trials are launched.

Zhuo Fu, et al., "Epigallocatechin gallate delays the onset of type 1 diabetes in spontaneous non-obese diabetic mice", British Journal of Nutrition, December 09, 2010, © The authors
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