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Natural Health Glossary
Medical Terms, Therapies, Accreditation

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Epigallocatechin gallate (egcg)
Photo: Epigallocatechin gallate The ester of epigallocatechin and gallic acid, and is a type of catechin.

EGCG has been the subject of a number of studies investigating its potential use as a therapeutic for a broad range of disorders, including: HIV; cancer (particularly brain, prostate, cervical and bladder cancers); chronic fatigue syndrome; endometriosis; and neurodegeneration (e.g. dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease).

EGCG is the most abundant catechin in tea and is a potent antioxidant that may have therapeutic applications in the treatment of many disorders (e.g. cancer). It is found in green tea but not black tea; during black tea production, the catechins are converted to theaflavins and thearubigins.

In a high temperature environment, an epimerization change is more likely to occur; however as exposure to boiling water for 30 straight minutes leads to only a 12.4% reduction in the total amount of EGCG, the amount lost in a brief exposure is insignificant. In fact, even when special conditions were used to create temperatures well above that of boiling water, the amount lost increased only slightly.

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