Among all kinds of tea (green, black, white), dried green tea leaves contain the highest levels of a polyphenol called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). It has been already shown that EGCG has antimicrobial properties that make it a solid candidate for multidrug treatment of some forms of persistent infections, and has notably significant effects against a dangerous pathogen such as E. coli.
A new study published on May 31, 2018 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry shows that EGCG could also help against atherosclerosis.
ApoA-1 is a protein that has the tendency to stick to plaques in veins. Plaques become larger as a result, and therefore blood flow is restricted, leading to heart attacks and strokes. In the presence of a natural anticoagulant called heparin, EGCG binds itself to apoA-1 and transforms it into smaller molecules, essentially dissolving the blocks in the veins.
As scientists point out, it is impossible to drink enough green tea every day to reach an amount of EGCG significant enough to generate the desired protective effect. But with those results at hand, scientists are now looking at ways to work on the EGCG molecule of green tea to create new medicines against atherosclerosis.
Townsend et al., Epigallocatechin-3-gallate remodels apolipoprotein A-I amyloid fibrils into soluble oligomers in the presence of heparin, The Journal of Biological Chemistry, published online May 31, 2018,
Stenvang et al., Epigallocatechin Gallate Remodels Overexpressed Functional Amyloids in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Increases Biofilm Susceptibility to Antibiotic Treatment, The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 291, 2016, 26540-26553.
Lee and al., Antipathogenic Properties of Green Tea Polyphenol Epigallocatechin Gallate at Concentrations below the MIC against Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7. Journal of Food Protection 2009, Vol. 72, No. 2, pp. 325-331.