Green Tea, Can it Help in Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment?

People with rheumatoid arthritis often have painful swelling of the small joints in their hands and wrists. This disease impacts the lining of the joints, which can wear away bone, cause damage to cartilage and destroy the joints. Researchers from Washington State University think the catechin in green tea, EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) could help.
The much-discussed green tea catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) has been looked at previously as a help with a variety of health issues ranging from weight maintenance, protection against prostate cancer, slowing Alzheimers Disease and it’s role in the reduction of airway inflammation caused by Cystic Fibrosis.
A study was conducted by a research team from Washington State University and the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research in Hajipur, India. In the study, rats were given EGCG for ten days to see if the EGCG would aide someone with ankle swelling from rheumatoid arthritis. A significant reduction in swelling was noted. EGCG’s role in reducing inflammation is connected to the way it affects the protein TAK1 (Transforming growth factor β–Activated Kinase 1) in the body. TAK1 communicates to the body messages that result in inflammation.
“Existing drugs for rheumatoid arthritis are expensive, immunosuppressive and sometimes unsuitable for long-term use,” Salah-uddin Ahmed, noted in a Washington State press release. “This study has opened the field of research into using EGCG for targeting TAK1 — an important signaling protein.” Ahmed has been studying rheumatoid arthritis for 15 years.
The study was published in the February 2016 issue of Arthritis and Rheumatology.
SOURCE: CTV News, Washington State University
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