Study: Compound in Green Tea Could Help Fight Rheumatoid Arthritis

An anti-inflammatory compound in green tea could help ease the pain of rheumatoid arthritis.
An anti-inflammatory compound in green tea could help ease the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. (iStock photo )

A compound in green tea, known to have potent anti-inflammatory properties, has been found to be an effective potential treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

In a new study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology, researchers from Washington State University (WSU) in Spokane revealed the compound—called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)—reduced ankle swelling in mice with a rodent form of RA, Medical News Today reports. 

Last month, the death of Eagles' founder Glen Frey—a long-time RA sufferer—was partly attributed to health problems tied to the arthritis drugs he was taking, according the singer's manager, Irving Azof.

Salah-uddin Ahmed, of the WSU College of Pharmacy, who led the new study, said the compound EGCG may be a promising alternative to current treatments for RA. EGCG is a chemical compound that belongs to a class of flavanols known as catechins, found in green tea.

After giving EGCG to with RA for 10 days, the team noticed that treatment with the compound led to a significant reduction in ankle swelling. 

The researchers found that EGCG reduces the activity of TAK1—a protein that triggers the inflammation and tissue damage found in RA. 

"Our findings provide a rationale for targeting TAK1 for the treatment of RA with EGCG," said Ahmed.

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