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Epigallocatechin gallate
CAS number 989-51-5
PubChem 65064
MeSH Epigallocatechin+gallate
Molecular formula C22H18O11
Molar mass 458.37 g mol−1
Exact mass 458.084911
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), also known as Epigallocatechin 3-gallate, is the ester of epigallocatechin and gallic acid and a type of catechin.

EGCG is the most abundant catechin in most notably tea, among other plants, and is also a potent antioxidant[1] that may have therapeutic properties for many disorders including cancer.[2][3] It is found in green tea, but not black tea, as EGCG is converted into thearubigins in black teas. In a high temperature environment, an epimerization change is likely to occur, because heating results in the conversion from EGCG to GCG. Thus it is considered inappropriate to infuse green tea or its extracts with overheated water.

EGCG can be found in many supplements.



There has been research investigating the benefit of EGCG from green tea in the treatment of HIV infection, where EGCG has been shown to reduce plaques related to AIDS related dementia in the laboratory, as well as block gp120.[4][5][6] However, these effects have yet to be confirmed in live human trials, and it does not imply that green tea will cure or block HIV infection, but it may help regulate viral load as long as it is not involved in adverse drug reactions. The concentrations of EGCG used in the studies could not be reached by drinking green tea. More study into EGCG and HIV is currently underway.[7]

EGCG and Cancer

There is increasing evidence to show that EGCG, along with other flavonoids, can be beneficial in treating brain,[8] prostate,[9][10] cervical[11] and bladder[12] cancers. EGCG has been shown to bind and inhibit the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-xl[13] which has been implicated in both cancer cell and normal cell survival.[14]

Drug Interactions

A recent study using mouse models at the University of Southern California showed that, in contrast to the myriad benefits commonly associated with green tea and green tea extract (GTE), EGCG binds with the anti-cancer drug Velcade, significantly reducing its bioavailability and thereby rendering it therapeutically useless.[15] Dr. Schönthal, who headed the study, suggests that consumption of green tea and GTE products be strongly contraindicated for patients undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma.[15]

See also


  1. ^ Katiyar S, Elmets CA, Katiyar SK (May 2007). "Green tea and skin cancer: photoimmunology, angiogenesis and DNA repair". The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 18 (5): 287–96. doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2006.08.004. PMID 17049833. 
  2. ^ Pyrko P, Schönthal AH, Hofman FM, Chen TC, Lee AS (October 2007). "The unfolded protein response regulator GRP78/BiP as a novel target for increasing chemosensitivity in malignant gliomas". Cancer Research 67 (20): 9809–16. doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-0625. PMID 17942911. 
  3. ^ Aktas O, Waiczies S, Zipp F (March 2007). "Neurodegeneration in autoimmune demyelination: recent mechanistic insights reveal novel therapeutic targets". Journal of Neuroimmunology 184 (1-2): 17–26. doi:10.1016/j.jneuroim.2006.11.026. PMID 17222462. 
  4. ^ Williamson MP, McCormick TG, Nance CL, Shearer WT (December 2006). "Epigallocatechin gallate, the main polyphenol in green tea, binds to the T-cell receptor, CD4: Potential for HIV-1 therapy". The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 118 (6): 1369–74. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2006.08.016. PMID 17157668. 
  5. ^ Hamza A, Zhan CG (February 2006). "How can (-)-epigallocatechin gallate from green tea prevent HIV-1 infection? Mechanistic insights from computational modeling and the implication for rational design of anti-HIV-1 entry inhibitors". The Journal of Physical Chemistry. B 110 (6): 2910–7. doi:10.1021/jp0550762. PMID 16471901. 
  6. ^ Yamaguchi K, Honda M, Ikigai H, Hara Y, Shimamura T (January 2002). "Inhibitory effects of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate on the life cycle of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)". Antiviral Research 53 (1): 19–34. doi:10.1016/S0166-3542(01)00189-9. PMID 11684313. 
  7. ^ Nance CL, Shearer WT (November 2003). "Is green tea good for HIV-1 infection?". The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 112 (5): 851–3. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2003.08.048. PMID 14610469. 
  8. ^ Das A, Banik NL, Ray SK (November 2009). "Flavonoids activated caspases for apoptosis in human glioblastoma T98G and U87MG cells but not in human normal astrocytes". Cancer: NA. doi:10.1002/cncr.24699. PMID 19894226. 
  9. ^ Hsieh TC, Wu JM (October 2009). "Targeting CWR22Rv1 prostate cancer cell proliferation and gene expression by combinations of the phytochemicals EGCG, genistein and quercetin". Anticancer Research 29 (10): 4025–32. PMID 19846946. 
  10. ^ Bettuzzi S, Brausi M, Rizzi F, Peracchia G, Corti A (January 2006). "Chemoprevention of Human Prostate Cancer by Oral Administration of green Tea Catechins in Volunteers with High-Grade Prostate Intraepithelial Neoplasia: A Preliminary Report from a One-Year Proof-of-Principle Study". American Associaation for Cancer Research 66: 1234-1240. 
  11. ^ Qiao Y, Cao J, Xie L, Shi X (September 2009). "Cell growth inhibition and gene expression regulation by (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate in human cervical cancer cells". Archives of Pharmacal Research 32 (9): 1309–15. doi:10.1007/s12272-009-1917-3. PMID 19784588. 
  12. ^ Philips BJ, Coyle CH, Morrisroe SN, Chancellor MB, Yoshimura N (August 2009). "Induction of apoptosis in human bladder cancer cells by green tea catechins". Biomedical Research 30 (4): 207–15. doi:10.2220/biomedres.30.207. PMID 19729851. 
  13. ^ Leone M, Zhai D, Sareth S, Kitada S, Reed JC, Pellecchia M (December 2003). "Cancer prevention by tea polyphenols is linked to their direct inhibition of antiapoptotic Bcl-2-family proteins". Cancer Research 63 (23): 8118–21. PMID 14678963. 
  14. ^ Cherbonnel-Lasserre C, Dosanjh MK (October 1997). "Suppression of apoptosis by overexpression of Bcl-2 or Bcl-xL promotes survival and mutagenesis after oxidative damage". Biochimie 79 (9-10): 613–7. doi:10.1016/S0300-9084(97)82011-1. PMID 9466700. 
  15. ^ a b Neith, Katie. "Green tea blocks benefits of cancer drug, study finds". Retrieved 2009-02-04. 

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