Neurodegenerative Diseases Etiologies with Multimodal-Acting Green Tea Catechins


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Green Tea Catechins 1,2

Targeting Multiple Neurodegenerative Diseases
Etiologies with Multimodal-Acting Green
Tea Catechins 1,2

Silvia A. Mandel,* Tamar Amit, Limor Kalfon, Lydia Reznichenko, and Moussa B. H. Youdim
Eve Topf Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases Research and Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Technion,
Haifa, Israel
Abstract
Green tea is currently considered a source of dietary constituents endowed with biological and pharmacological activities
relevant to human health. Human epidemiological and new animal data suggest that the pharmacological benefits of tea
drinking may help to protect the brain as we age. Indeed, tea consumption is inversely correlated with the incidence
of dementia and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. In particular, its main catechin polyphenol constituent (2)-
epigallocatechin-3-gallate has been shown to exert neuroprotective/neurorescue activities in a wide array of cellular and
animal models of neurological disorders. The intense efforts dedicated in recent years to shed light on the molecular
mechanisms participating in the brain protective action of green tea indicate that in addition to the known antioxidant
activity of catechins, the modulation of signal transduction pathways, cell survival/death genes, and mitochondrial function
all contribute significantly to the induction of neuron viability. Because of the multietiological character of neurodegenerative
disease pathology, these natural compounds are receiving significant attention as therapeutic cytoprotective
agents that simultaneously manipulate multiple desired targets in the central nervous system. This article elaborates on
the multimodal activities of green tea polyphenols with emphasis on their recently described neurorescue/neuroregenerative
and mitochondrial stabilization actions. J. Nutr. 138: 1578S–1583S, 2008.
Introduction
Despite the lack of well-controlled clinical trials with tea
polyphenols in neurodegenerative diseases, human epidemiological
and new animal data suggest that the pharmacological
benefits of tea drinking may help protect the brain as we age.
Indeed, tea consumption is inversely correlated with the incidence
of dementia, Alzheimer’s

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