Catechins: Definition, Benefits and Food Sources of This Polyphenolic Antioxidant

We are talking about a substance that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

The growing interest in the health benefits of tea has led to the inclusion of tea extracts in dietary supplements and functional foods.

However, the epidemiological evidence on the effects of tea consumption on cancer and cardiovascular disease risk is conflicting.

While tea contains several bioactive chemicals, it is particularly rich in catechins, of which epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant.

Catechins and their derivatives are believed to contribute to the beneficial effects attributed to tea.

The catechins and polyphenols in tea are effective scavengers of reactive oxygen species in vitro and may also function indirectly as antioxidants through their effects on transcription factors and enzyme activities.

The fact that catechins are rapidly and extensively metabolized emphasizes the importance of demonstrating their antioxidant activity in vivo.

In humans, transient moderate increases in plasma antioxidant capacity have been shown after consumption of green tea tea and catechins.

The effects of tea and green tea catechins on oxidative stress biomarkers, especially oxidative DNA damage, appear to be very promising in animal models, but data on in vivo oxidative stress biomarkers in humans is limited.

What are catechins?

Catechins are polyphenolic antioxidants found in various plants, especially the leaves of tea plants. Scientifically, catechins are bio-flavonoids that can be found in plants.

The bio-flavonoid is a large class of plant pigments that have a flavone-based or similar chemical structure.

Catechins are the subgroup of flavan-3-ols (a class of flavonoids). Catechins are important for good health. Catechins are also known as cachou, cahoo, and cutch.

The main catechins found in plants are:

  • Epicatequina (EC).
  • Epigalocatequina (EGC).
  • Galato de epicatequina (ECG).
  • Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

Among all of them, EGCG is the most powerful catechin.

Catechins are polyphenolic antioxidants that are responsible for the good health of plants and humans. Catechins are the main components of tannins (a type of biomolecule).

Catechins benefits

Catechins for the skin

Catechins are good for the skin. Increases the defense and self-healing abilities of the skin. Catechins are a powerful antioxidant, which is why catechins work very well as anti-aging compounds.

Catechins fight free radicals, protect skin from sun damage, fight wrinkles and keep skin young. Many studies tell us that catechins should be included in the daily skin care regimen for better skin health.

Other Health Benefits Of Catechins

  • Antioxidant activity : catechins are strong antioxidants and very good for health.
  • Anticarcenogenic : catechins prevent the growth of cancer cells.
  • Antiatherogenic : protects against atherogenesis (formation of atheromas in the walls of the arteries as in atherosclerosis).
  • Enzyme function : Catechins increase the production of enzymes in the glutathione S-transferase (GST) family. This is crucial for the body’s defense against cancer-causing chemicals and other toxins.
  • Antibiotic – Catechins have also been shown to possess antibiotic properties.
  • Antidiabetic : catechins increase the activity of insulin.
  • Antibacterial : catechins block the attachment of bacteria related to tooth decay on the teeth.
  • Metabolism : catechins protect against digestive and respiratory infections.

Weight loss and catechins

In addition to all the wonderful health benefits mentioned above, green tea can help reduce body weight.

According to a 2005 study, catechins helped reduce body weight, BMI, waist circumference, body fat mass, and subcutaneous fat. In this study, they use green tea extract.

Food sources of catechins

  • Green tea.
  • Chocolate.
  • Red wine.
  • Apples
  • Albaricoques.
  • Peach.
  • Raspberry.
  • It must.
  • Black tea.

Catechins are very common in the seeds and skins of fruits that have not fully matured. Epicatechins are high in apples, blackberries, beans, cherries, black grapes, pears, raspberries, and chocolate.

Both black and green tea are rich in epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epigallocatechin gallate. EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) can be found in large quantities in green tea. It is a very effective chemotherapy preventive agent.

Amount of catechin in tea

Green tea and black tea contain not only catechins, but white tea as well. In fact, white tea has more catechins than green or black.

It is difficult to discern exactly how much catechin is in each tea, as it varies from brand to brand. Harvest time also matters with the amount of catechins in a tea.

According to Immoratalitea Tea Company, white tea has an average of 457 mg of catechins per 8-ounce cup, black tea has 55 mg of catechin, and green tea is in the middle. White tea has a milder taste compared to green tea.

The amount of catechins in each cup of green tea can also vary depending on how it is brewed. Using very hot water will bring out more catechins, but it can also make it more bitter. Holding the tea longer will also bring out more catechins.

If the caffeine in green tea bothers you or makes you nervous, decaffeinated green tea is great, as it contains many catechins without the caffeine.