FEB 19, 2016 11:57 AM PST

Compound in Green Tea Found to Block Rheumatoid Arthritis

WRITTEN BY: Julianne Chiaet

Researchers at Washington State University may have found an affordable and accessible treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

According to the research published in Arthritis and Rheumatology on February 16, 2016, a compound found in green tea was found to block the joint pain, inflammation, and tissue damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating autoimmune disorder that affects more than 2 million Americans. The disorder causes chronic inflammation, mostly in small joints of the hands and feet, and can eventually cause cartilage damage, bone erosion, and joint deformity.

"Existing drugs for rheumatoid arthritis are expensive, immunosuppressive and sometimes unsuitable for long-term use," said Salah-uddin Ahmed, the lead WSU researcher on the project.

The anti-inflammatory compound in green tea is called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). The researchers observed mice that were preclinical animal models of human rheumatoid arthritis. Over ten days, the researchers gave the mice EGCG and examined the swelling in their ankles. The phytochemical ultimately blocked the effects of the disease without blocking other cellular functions, and the ankle swelling was markedly reduced.

"This study has opened the field of research into using EGCG for targeting TAK1 - an important signaling protein - through which proinflammatory cytokines transmit their signals to cause inflammation and tissue destruction in rheumatoid arthritis," said Ahmed.

The finding is promising, but researchers still need to test the results on humans.
About the Author
Julianne (@JuliChiaet) covers health and medicine for LabRoots. Her work has been published in The Daily Beast, Scientific American, and MailOnline. While primarily a science journalist, she has also covered culture and Japanese organized crime. She is the New York Board Representative for the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). • To read more of her writing, or to send her a message, go to Jchiaet.com
You May Also Like
DEC 28, 2020
Immunology
What Happens When Your Immune System Works Against You?!
DEC 28, 2020
What Happens When Your Immune System Works Against You?!
Our immune system is our army against any molecule that wants to invade our bodies like viruses, bacteria, and cancer. I ...
JAN 13, 2021
Plants & Animals
Dwarf Giraffes Observed for the First Time Ever
JAN 13, 2021
Dwarf Giraffes Observed for the First Time Ever
The name “dwarf giraffe” certainly seems like an oxymoron, which is why scientists were shocked to observe t ...
JUN 04, 2021
Plants & Animals
What Elephant Trunks Teach Science about Suction
JUN 04, 2021
What Elephant Trunks Teach Science about Suction
How an elephant picks up a tortilla chip could inspire next-generation suction technology.
JUL 15, 2021
Neuroscience
Like Humans, Rats Help Friends Before Strangers
JUL 15, 2021
Like Humans, Rats Help Friends Before Strangers
Just like humans, rats tend to help members of their own social group before strangers. The findings may help researcher ...
JUL 23, 2021
Neuroscience
Does the Rise of Neurotech Spell the End of Humanity as We Know it?
JUL 23, 2021
Does the Rise of Neurotech Spell the End of Humanity as We Know it?
Researchers from Imperial College London have written an overview of currently available commercial brain-computer inter ...
JUL 30, 2021
Plants & Animals
Massive fossil Bonebed Discovered by a Ranger in the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains California
JUL 30, 2021
Massive fossil Bonebed Discovered by a Ranger in the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains California
Paleontologists gain another piece of California's past
Loading Comments...