Posted on Dec 13, 2012, 6 a.m.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant compound found abundantly in green tea, helps to reduce blood sugar spikes after starchy meals, in a lab animal model.
Green tea contains between 30 and 40% polyphenols, potent antioxidant compounds; specifically, green tea is abundant in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Joshua Lambert, from Penn State University (Pennsylvania, USA), and colleagues fed lab mice EGCG with a meal consisting of starches (common corn starch, maltose, sucrose, or glucose). The researchers observed that cotreatment with EGCG significantly reduced post-meal blood glucose levels by 50% (as compared to 20% in the control animals), in animals fed the common corn starch. No effect was seen on the animals fed maltose or glucose. The team also observed that in vitro, EGCG noncompetitively inhibited pancreatic amylase activity by 34% at 20 micromols. The study authors report that: “Our results suggest that EGCG acutely reduces postprandial blood glucose levels … [which] may be due in part to inhibition of [alpha]-amylase.”
Forester SC, Gu Y, Lambert JD. “Inhibition of starch digestion by the green tea polyphenol, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate.” Mol Nutr Food Res. 2012 Nov;56(11):1647-54.