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Green tea linked to skin cell rejuvenation

about a month into their life cycle, they are replaced by another wave of migrating cells supplied by stem cells, starting the process all over again.

But EGCG seems to be a fountain of youth for skin cells. "When exposed to EGCG, the old cells found in the upper layers of the epidermis appear to start dividing again," Dr. Hsu said. "They make DNA and produce more energy. They are reactivated. There are lots of unknowns-this is the first step into the door-but if we can energize dying skin cells, we can probably improve the skin condition."

In addition, the researchers found that EGCG accelerates the differentiation process among new cells.

Combining these effects of EGCG on skin cells in different layers of the epidermis, Dr. Hsu noted potential benefits for skin conditions as diverse as aphthous ulcers, psoriasis, rosascea, wrinkles and wounds. "If skin cells surrounding wounds or infections don't heal in time, fibroblasts in the connective tissue may rush in to fill the void and cause scar tissue formation," he said. "If we can spur the skin cells to differentiate and proliferate, we can potentially accelerate the wound-healing process and prevent scarring."

This potential benefit is particularly exciting for conditions such as diabetes, which stubbornly inhibits the wound-healing process, Dr. Hsu said.

He and his colleagues hope to identify dermatologists interested in collaborating on clinical studies of EGCG and other polyphenols on patients.


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Contact: Christine Hurley Deriso
cderiso@mail.mcg.edu
706-721-2124
Medical College of Georgia
24-Apr-2003


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