Component of green tea protects injured livers in mice

us 65 percent for the controls. Tissue analysis showed that the EGCG mice had decreased necrosis (cell death) and a higher percentage of viable tissue, demonstrating that the flavonoid protected the liver from I/R injury.

The next step was to determine the mechanism by which EGCG protected fatty liver cells from I/R injury. Researchers developed a technique to measure fatty acids and found that levels of palmitic and linoleic acid, two fatty acids that are present in large amounts in fatty livers, decreased significantly in EGCG treated mice. Further tests revealed an increase in hepatic energy stores (one of the liver's functions is to store energy in the form of glycogen) in EGCG mice and showed that EGCG was acting as an antioxidant, thereby protecting fatty livers from I/R injury. In addition, the study showed that EGCG reduced liver fat content by approximately 55 percent. "Significant differences to the fat content, energy stores and markers of cellular injury were observed regardless of how the compound was administered," the authors note.

The authors conclude that "the data presented here indicates that EGCG protects the steatotic liver from I/R injury by reducing hepatic fat content, increasing energy stores, serving as an antioxidant and may stimulate the production of additional antioxidants such as GSH." They add that these activities warrant further investigation and that a thorough understanding of how ECGC acts may suggest its use as a therapeutic agent for fatty livers used in liver transplants.


Contact: David Greenberg
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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