Green tea extract may protect against Alzheimer's

Scientists have discovered that a molecule in green tea may prevent the misfolding of specific proteins in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The aggregation of these proteins called metal-associated amyloids is linked with Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative conditions.

Researchers at the University of Michigan led by Mi Hee Lim used green tea extract to control the generation of metal-associated amyloid-beta aggregates linked with Alzheimer’s disease in the lab.

The specific molecule in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, also known as EGCG, prevented aggregate formation and broke down existing aggregate structures in the proteins that contained metals - specifically copper, iron and zinc.

“A lot of people are very excited about this molecule,” said Lim, noting that the EGCG and other flavonoids in natural products have long been established as powerful antioxidants.

“We used a multidisciplinary approach. This is the first example of structure-centric, multidisciplinary investigations by three principal investigators with three different areas of expertise,” Lim said in a statement.

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