Green tea could hold the key to avoiding deaths from heart attacks and strokes caused by atherosclerosis, according to research funded by the British Heart Foundation and published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Scientists from Lancaster University and the University of Leeds have discovered that a compound found in green tea, currently being studied for its ability to reduce amyloid plaques in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease, also breaks up and dissolves potentially dangerous protein plaques found in the blood vessels.
Atherosclerosis may be the build-up of fatty materials within our arteries that may reduce the blood circulation to the center and mind. In advanced phases of the problem, a protein known as apolipoprotein A-1 (apoA-1) can develop amyloid deposits, which are identical in the framework to those connected with Alzheimer’s disease. These deposits build-up within atherosclerotic plaques. Right here, the size is increased by them of the plaques, further restricting blood circulation, and could make the plaques much less stable also, increasing the chance of a center stroke or attack.
Researchers discovered that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), most connected with green tea commonly, binds to the amyloid fibers of apoA-1. This converts the fibers to smaller sized soluble molecules that are less inclined to become damaging to arteries.
Now, the team is working on finding ways of introducing effective amounts of EGCG into the bloodstream without it becoming necessary to beverage large and possibly harmful levels of green tea. This may involve modifying the chemical substance structure of EGCG, which makes it much easier to become absorbed from the abdomen and even more resistant to rate of metabolism or be developing new solutions to deliver the molecule to the plaques-such as via an injection.
David Middleton, Professor of Chemistry at Lancaster University, said:
“The health advantages of green tea have already been widely promoted and it’s been known for incredibly a while that EGCG can transform the structures of amyloid plaques connected with Alzheimer’s disease.
“Our results display that intriguing compound may also succeed against the types of plaques that may cause heart episodes and strokes. ”
Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director in the British Heart Basis, said: ” Our anatomies are extremely proficient at breaking down EGCG thus swapping your cuppa for green tea extract is unlikely to create a huge difference regarding your heart wellness. “But by engineering the molecule slightly, we may be able to make new medicines to treat heart stroke and attack. ”
Professor Sheena Radford, Director of the Astbury Center for Structural Molecular Biology in the University of co-writer and Leeds of the study, said: “The results of the round of research are very encouraging. We now have to apply the very best scientific techniques to discover how we may take the molecular EGCG component from green tea extract, and turn it right into a functioning device to combat life-limiting health issues. “