A New Theory on How Green Tea Promotes Longevity

November 12, 2021 No Comments Knowledge, Tea and Health ctma

From: Tea Biz by Dan Bolton

Researchers at ETH Zürich have discovered that green tea catechins are not passive antioxidants but pro-oxidants that act to strengthen cells against attack by free radicals, leading to longer life and greater fitness.

Initially, the presence of green tea catechins increases oxidative stress for a short while which has the subsequent effect of strengthening the defensive capabilities of the cells and the organism, according to study leader Dr. Michael Ristow, professor for Energy Metabolism at the University’s Department of Health Sciences and Technology.

“Catechins, aren’t in fact antioxidants, but rather pro-oxidants that improve the organism’s ability to defend itself, similar to a vaccination,” said Ristow. “Green tea activates genes that produce certain enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CTL) that deactivate free radicals in nematodes, the test organisms chosen for the study,” he explained. 

The findings from the study translate well to humans, said Ristow. “The basic biochemical processes by which organisms neutralize oxygen free radicals are conserved in the evolution history and are present in everything from unicellular yeast to humans,” he said.

His findings appear in the October issue of the peer-reviewed journal Aging.

Tian J, Geiss C, Zarse K, Madreiter- Sokolowski CT, Ristow M: Green tea catechins EGCG and ECG enhance the fitness and lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans by complex I inhibition. Aging, 2021 Oct 4;13. doi: 10.18632/aging.203597call_made

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