The potential role of green tea catechins in the prevention of the metabolic syndrome – A review
Author: Frank Thielecke and Michael Boschmann
The metabolic syndrome (MetS) represents an emerging health burden for governments and health care providers. Particularly relevant for prevention and early management of MetS are lifestyle conditions including physical activity and the diet. It has been shown that green tea, when consumed on a daily basis, supports health. Many of the beneficial effects of green tea are related to its catechin, particularly (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), content. There is conclusive evidence from in vitro and animal studies which provide the concepts for underlying functional mechanisms of green tea catechins and their biological actions. An increasing number of human studies have explored the effects of green tea catechins on the major MetS conditions such as obesity, type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the human studies addressing the potential benefits of green tea catechins on the MetS. The number of human studies in this field is still limited. However, the majority of human epidemiological and intervention studies demonstrate beneficial effects of green tea or green tea extracts, rich in EGCG on weight management, glucose control and cardiovascular risk factors. The optimal dose has not yet been established. The current body of evidence in humans warrants further attention. In particular, well-controlled long-term human studies would help to fully understand the protective effects of green tea catechins on parameters related to the MetS.