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None of these are claims or implied claims for tea and its ability (or not) to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent disease.  This only a summary of the research available online.  It is for informational purposes only.

All tea is made up of chemical constituents  including a number of catechins.  The most famous catechin, presumably thanks to Tim Ferris and his book “4 Hour Body,” is EGCG.

But just for kicks, let’s look at all the ones found in Pu-erh tea, since Belight is of course, based on Pu-Erh.
cup of pu'er tea
Catechin,
Epicatechin (EC),
Epigallocatechin (EGC),
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG),
Epicatechin gallate (ECG),
Gallocatechin (GC).
Well, that’s all well and good, but what does all that mean or better yet,

What are the benefits of tea catechins?

Catechins

Laboratory studies (performed on worms or mice) indicate catechins, and their close derivative Epicatechin (EC), offer a number of health benefits. However, since extensive studies haven’t been performed on humans, it is necessary to extrapolate a little, so please forgive me for drawing conclusions.

Catechins, including Epicatechin (EC)  may

  • increase longevity
  • lead to less plaque buildup in the arteries
  • inhibit intestinal tumors
  • prevent LDL from oxidizing
  • offer an antifungal effect against Candida
  • prevent blood plasma from oxidizing
  • reduce brain damage in stroke victims when taken within 3 hours
  • subdue histamine and immune response to allergens
  • function as MAOI and thus be beneficial to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients
  • increase resistance to muscle fatigue
  • protect the brain
  • scavenge free radicals (i.e. act as an anti-oxidant)

(Source: Wikipedia-Catechin, PubMed) Again, these are studies primarily done in laboratories on mice and may not hold up for humans in the real world.  That being said, though, it doesn’t hurt to consume more foods/drinks with catechins.

Gallocatechin (GC) & Epigallocatechin (EGC)

These catechins are derivatives or epimers of the other catechins. Thus, they are essential for the active functioning and benefits performed by the other listed catechins. EG and EGC are also antioxidants themselves.

Epicatechin gallate (ECG)

Another flavonol and flavonoid, ECG, may be useful in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

A study done in Shanghai, found on PubMed, showed that ECG was effective, where GC was not, in activating glutathione, and thus reducing breast cancer risk.

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)

EGCG is the big daddy of them all, with the most research done into its effects and the most buzz around its benefits. While primarily associated with green tea, EGCG is actually present in all tea made from the Camellia Sinensis plant (true tea), though the proportions vary between styles of tea.  Research has been done looking at EGCG for a number of health concerns:

  • Reduces fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Improves prevention and outcomes related to cancers, including prostate
  • Protects against auto-immune conditions namely Sjögren’s
  • Reduces lesion size in edometriosis
  • Prevents iron accumulation that affects Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s patients
  • Source: Wikipedia-EGCG

While tea, and specifically EGCG, may be useful for preventing cancer, the research in somewhat contradictory as to whether it can help cancer recovery.  Furthermore, tea, EGCG, and caffeine are not recommended for pregnant women.

Again, please note, this merely a summary of the research done around catechins in tea.  It is not a claim of the functions, effects, or benefits of catechins or tea.  I do NOT purport that tea can or will cure cancer or any other health condition.

Nonetheless, it all sounds promising, so why not drink a cup anyway?

None of these are claims or implied claims for tea and its ability (or not) to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent disease.  This only a summary of the research available online.  It is for informational purposes only.

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