The Measure of a Cup: How Much EGCG Is in Green Tea
If you have done any research into green tea, it is quite possible that you have come across EGCG.
You may have learned that it is a useful and powerful component in green tea.
What may not have been as clear is what EGCG actually is.
There is also a good chance that you aren't entirely sure of how much EGCG is in green tea either.
Well, there's no need to worry about this any longer, though.
You can find all the answers that you need, below…
What Is EGCG in Green Tea?
So, first things first – what is EGCG?
Well, EGCG belongs to a group of phenolic compounds known as catechins.
EGCG is the most abundant catechin in green tea.
This compound functions as a potent antioxidant. This means that it prevents oxidative stress in the body.
As a result, EGCG is actively responsible from preventing cell and tissue damage.
The Benefits of EGCG
EGCG has a wide range of benefits for the human body.
This is due to the fact that this compound has more complex interactions than most people anticipated.
In addition to an antioxidant effect, EGCG also:
- Interacts with proteins and phospholipids in plasma membrane
- Regulates signal transduction pathways
- Modulates transcription factors
- Regulates DNA methylation
- Modulates mitochondrial function
- Regulates autophagy
In more basic terms, this means that EGCG may have the following advantages for your health:
Could Reduce Risk of Developing Cancer
There is research to show that EGCG can protect your body from various types of cancer.
This is because, to a large extent, the development of cancer has been linked to oxidative stress and inflammation.
These are two issues that EGCG tackles rather well. Naturally, regular consumption of the component can reduce your risk quite a bit.
It also appears that EGCG is great for tackling existing tumors.
Certain studies have shown that this component can inhibit growth, reduce the size of tumors, and prevent migration of cancerous cells.
Could Play a Management Role in Inflammatory Disorders
As mentioned, EGCG is great for dealing with inflammation in the body.
Due to this, it can help to prevent of manage a number of medical conditions that stem from chronic inflammation.
These conditions include, but aren't limited to, arthritis and diabetes.
May Help to Alleviate Symptoms of Diabetes
For individuals who have already been diagnosed with diabetes, EGCG can still have a positive impact.
For one thing, evidence shows that improves glucose tolerance as well as increasing glucose-stimulated insulin secretion.
It could also improve the function of your pancreas.
Can Help with Fat Loss
EGCG has been shown to have an anti-obesity effect.
This is due to the fact that it can increase fat oxidation.
As such, individuals consuming EGCG on a regular basis may find it easier to burn fat and lose weight.
Could Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
EGCG can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease through the following mechanisms:
- decreasing oxidative stress
- preventing inflammatory events
- reducing platelet aggregation
- halting the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells
In turn, this can prevent hypertension, atherosclerosis, ischemic heart diseases, congestive heart failure, and more.
EGCG Content – Green Tea vs. Green Tea Extract
There are two different ways that you can get EGCG.
The natural way is by drinking a cup of tea.
Then, there are green tea extracts. These are a more concentrated form of green tea.
As such, it tends to have a higher level of EGCG.
Let’s compare the exact EGCG content of these two substances.
How Much EGCG is in Green Tea?
It should be noted that the EGCG content can vary in green tea.
This can be due to the quality of the tea, water temperature, and even brewing time.
On average, though, you can expect to find around 50 to 100mg in each cup of green tea.
How Much EGCG is in Green Tea Extract?
The EGCG in green tea extracts can vary quite a bit from one brand to another as well.
However, you will often find that the dosage is quite high – anywhere from 500mg to 1000mg.
EGCG Dosage – How Much EGCG Should You Take a Day?
Now, considering the health benefits of EGCG, you would imagine that more is better, right?
Well, not exactly.
It is important to follow a proper dosage, even with this wondrous compound.
Most experts would advise you to take no more than 338mg of EGCG a day.
EGCG Green Tea Extract Side Effects
So, this means that green tea extract has a much higher dosage than recommended.
Thus, you may be wondering, is EGCG safe at high doses?
No, it isn't.
At higher levels, you begin to approach EGCG toxicity.
If you continue to consume the extracts at such high levels, you could do significant damage to your liver.
Thus, to avoid green tea extract dangers, you need to carefully monitor your intake and never exceed the recommended dosage.
How to Find the Highest EGCG Green Tea
The good news is that you don’t have to resort to green tea extracts if you don’t want to.
You can actually select green tea that has a higher level of EGCG.
If this is something that you are interested in, then you should pay attention to the following factors:
Pay Attention to Species
There is a good chance that you haven’t really thought about tea species.
However, scientists have discovered that the Camellia Sinensis var. Sinensis has more antioxidants.
For this purpose, you should specifically look for teas that have been grown in Japan and China.
Teas from Zhejiang Province
Speaking of Chinese tea, look for teas that have been grown in the Zhejiang Province.
This area is perfect for tea plants, allowing them to grow splendidly.
In turn, these have a higher number of catechins.
Shade Grown Teas
Some types of green tea like Gyokura and matcha are actually grown in the shade for a certain period of time.
On average, these plants have more catechins are considered to be healthier.
This is largely to do with the fact that the plants are forced to get their nutrients from nitrogen-rich soil instead of sunlight.
Teas can be processed in one of two ways – pan fried or steamed.
Steamed teas have been found to have more catechins than their pan fried counterparts.
You will often find that steamed tea is more common in Japan than in other regions. Thus, you may want to opt for green tea grown and processed there.
You should be warned that the steamed green tea has a more vegetal flavor that may take some getting used to.
Second Harvest Teas
First harvest teas may be sought after, but it is second harvest teas that have a greater number of catechins.
Not sure how to tell the difference? Well, most green teas are from the second harvest.
If a particular brand is offering first harvest tea, it will certainly mention it.
Not to mention, this kind of tea tends to be more expensive as well as it is a premium product.
So, this is what you need to know about the EGCG content in green tea as well as green tea extracts. Make sure that you use this information to consume a safe and healthy amount.
This will help you to enjoy the health benefits while simultaneously reducing the risks of any side effects.
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Consultant Nutritionist and Dietician
Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry. However, her love for tea began long before she understood the health benefits of tea. Growing up in Sri Lanka, Dheena had the privilege of being surrounded by the world-famous Ceylon tea. This is what got her started on her exploration of the various types of tea. She has now extensively tasted and examined teas from all over the world.
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An Important Disclaimer
The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.