An Elixir for Life: Green Tea & Red Wine

Recently, a research has suggested that naturally present nutritive compounds in green tea and red wine may hinder the creation of toxic metabolites. These metabolites usually contribute to the neuro-degeneration evidently seen in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. There have been various studies over the years that have shed some light on the fact that there might be a hope for treating certain inborn metabolic diseases.

Due to the absence of cure, people who are born with these inherited metabolic disorders usually have to adhere to strict and demanding diet their entire lives. The people who are affected by these diseases either lack of gene or mutant gene resulting in a critical enzyme deficiency, or buildup of toxic metabolites, this causes the disease in the first place. As a result of this, there is uncontrolled metabolite accumulation in the body; causing severe developmental and mental disorders.

Research in this field suggests that certain compounds naturally found in red wine and green tea may block the development of these toxic metabolites, which build up, and cause severe developmental and mental disorders. The compounds that are naturally present in green tea, and red wine may also block the formation of toxic molecules, this advancement is suggested to help out with the treatment of certain inborn congenital metabolic diseases.

The researchers have found two prospective compounds namely:

  • Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), this compound naturally present in green tea, it has attracted a lot of attention of the medical community over the years.
  • Tannic acid, a compound present in red wine, known to inhibit the formation of toxic amyloid structures, that are the root cause Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

In the recent research study led by Prof. Ehud Gazit and his doctoral student Shira Shaham-Niv at Tel Aviv University; suggested that Epigallocatechin and Tannic acid were reconnoitered to tackle the cases of inborn congenital metabolic diseases. The excess accumulation of toxic metabolites in the body cause severe developmental and mental disorders. The only way to prevent the devastating long-term effects that these diseases cause is to eliminate certain substances, such as phenylalanine, found in most food products. This study was published in the Nature group journal Communications Chemistry, which suggested that these compounds might block the formation of toxic metabolites; this has enticed attention of the medical community to leverage these potential health benefits.

Tannic acid prevents the development of toxic amyloid structures that instigate neurodegenerative disorders. This study has enlightened the research community in understanding metabolic diseases, enabling us to counteract the amyloid formation process of metabolites in Neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases. Culture systems and test tubes were used to test these putative compounds present in green tea and red wine.

Phenylalanine, adenine, and cumulative tyrosine are metabolites related to the development of innate metabolic diseases, were tested against these compounds. Both tannic acid and EGCG showed promising resistance against these metabolites, and proved to be effective in inhibiting the formation of toxic amyloid structures. To confirm this result the scientists also carried out computer simulations to authenticate the mechanism driving the compounds.

This new study has demonstrated the amazing ability of nature to produce the best drug candidates to treat some of the vilest human maladies. Advancement in this research will allow new drugs to be tested and discovered to curb these innate metabolic diseases. This potent tool will open the doors to study more efficiently, different natural compounds that have tremendous potential to help patients in the future.

-Sayali Rane

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