Early-Stage Discoveries: EGCG, Resveratrol and CBD
Good results in the lab can lead to larger human trials. Here are some of the most promising recent findings.
EGCG boosts anti-cancer protein
A natural anti-cancer protein in the body, p53, appears to interact directly with the green tea polyphenol, epigallocatechingallate (EGCG). “Mutations in p53 are found in over 50 percent of human cancer,” doctors said. After the body produces it, p53 quickly degrades when it comes into contact with another protein, MDM2, keeping levels low. Doctors found EGCG binds at the same place—the N-terminal domain—on p53, competing with MDM2 and increasing levels of p53. Because of its anti-cancer functions, doctors said “p53 is arguably the most important protein in human cancer.”
Reference: Nature Communications; 2021, Vol. 12, Article No. 986
Resveratrol reduces endometriosis
Endometriosis is a disease of the lining normally inside the uterus that begins growing outside of the uterus. During menstruation, cells and tissue inside and outside the uterus bleed. Resveratrol is a phytochemical with anti-blood-vessel-forming properties. In the lab, doctors exposed human endometriosis tissue to resveratrol, which significantly reduced the expression of the two main growth factors in developing endometriosis: VEGF and MMP-9. This is the first study to assess the effect of resveratrol cells cultured from women with endometriosis.
Reference 3: Scientific Reports; 2021, Vol. 11, Article No. 6054
Cannabidiol helped reduce amyloid plaque in AD
In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), beta-amyloid plaques build up in brain tissue, impairing nerve signaling and cognition. In the lab, mice taking high-dose cannabidiol (CBD) for two weeks had higher levels of two proteins that decline in AD; TREM2 and IL-33, and that enable brain immune cells to consume dead cells and debris like beta-amyloid plaque. CBD increased and normalized these two protein levels, improved cognition, and reduced levels of a highly inflammatory protein, IL-6, which is closely linked to AD.
Reference 2: Journal of Alzheimer’s disease; 2021, Vol. 80, No. 3, 973-7