Submitted to: Tea in Health and Disease Prevention
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/2/2012
Publication Date: 1/5/2013
Citation: Zingg, J., Meydani, M. 2013. Molecular and cellular targets affected by green tea extracts in vascular cells. In: Preedy, V.R., editor. Tea in Health and Disease Prevention. Academic Press. Chapter 71. p. 115-125. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Consumption of green or black tea has been associated with a lower risk for the development of cardiovascular diseases, but despite many studies, a firm connection has not been delineated. Several molecular and cellular mechanisms may play a role in the preventive activity of tea. As reviewed here, tea catechins can interact with a myriad of molecular targets (enzymes, receptors, transcription factors) involved in signal transduction and gene expression; accordingly, they can affect cellular behavior in many ways. Although the molecular mechanisms often remain unclear, promising experimental evidence suggests that tea catechins, and in particular epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) from green tea, affect several key steps known to be involved in atherosclerosis development: they have anti-oxidative, vasculoprotective, anti-thrombogenic, anti-fibrinolytic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-angiogenic effects. As a consequence, they inhibit low-density lipoprotein oxidation, improve endothelial function, decrease blood pressure, improve dyslipidemia by reducing intestinal lipid absorption, and reduce obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and diabetes. Future studies should sort out which of these effects are specific, whether they occur at physiological plasma and tissue concentrations after tea consumption, or whether they instead represent pharmacological effects of individual tea components at high doses.