Green Tea Catechins protect Neurons
Using an assay, a library of 2,000 compounds was screened by Nath et al to see if they could protect neurons (in complications with human immunodeficiency virus). Out of 256 compounds that showed variable degrees of neuroprotection, nine were related to epicatechin, a monomeric flavonoid found in Green Tea and cocoa leaves that can traverse the blood-brain barrier.
These catechin compounds (e.g. epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)) were further screened for neuroprotective properties and compared to those of resveratrol.
The scientists suggest that because of to its simpler structure and more efficient blood-brain barrier penetration properties, epicatechin might be the best therapeutic candidate for neurodegenerative diseases and neurocognitive disorders where oxidative stress is an important pathophysiological mechanism.