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Component of green tea protects injured livers in mice

A new study investigating the effects of the major flavonoid component of green tea on hepatic steatosis (fatty liver) found that it significantly protected livers that suffered ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in mice. I/R injury, which is caused by decreased blood flow, can lead to complications after liver transplantation.

The results of this study appear in the March 2005 issue of Liver Transplantation, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS). The journal is published on behalf of the societies by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and is available online via Wiley InterScience at http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/livertransplantation.

Approximately one-fifth of the U.S. population is afflicted with hepatic steatosis due to a rising incidence of obesity. Because fatty livers are more sensitive than lean livers to I/R injury and are associated with an increased risk of disease and death, this has resulted in fewer usable donors for liver transplants. In fact, nearly one-third of all donated livers are afflicted with fatty changes, but longer waiting lists are forcing practitioners to consider using these organs. A previous study found that rinsing livers with a solution containing green tea extract prevented failures in transplants using fatty livers. The current study examined whether (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the major flavonoid component found in green tea, protected fatty livers from cell damage after I/R injury.

Led by Kenneth D. Chavin, M.D., Ph.D., of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC, researchers administered EGCG either orally or by injection and performed surgery to induce I/R injury in mice; control groups did not receive the EGCG. Mice receiving EGCG by either method showed a survival rate of 100 percent, vers
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Contact: David Greenberg
dgreenbe@wiley.com
201-748-6484
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
18-Feb-2005


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