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Molecule in Green tea could prevent heart attacks

It's totally understandable to be skeptical about health fads and the preventative role of so-called 'superfoods' fighting against disease and illness. Fads come and go, but Matcha green tea, on the other hand, has been in Japanese culture for centuries, so it's safe to say that at Matcha is not a fad and it will be around for many more centuries to come. 

matcha latte heart art

Scientists are starting to discover what the Zen Buddhist monks have known for centuries. A recent study presented by the British Heart Foundation have discovered that a compound found in green tea, currently being studied for its ability to reduce amyloid plaques in the brain in Alzheimer's disease, also breaks up and dissolves potentially dangerous protein plaques found in the blood vessels.

Green tea could hold the key to preventing deaths from heart attacks and strokes caused by atherosclerosis, according to research funded by the British Heart Foundation and published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Atherosclerosis is the build-up of fatty material inside our arteries that can reduce the flow of blood to the heart and brain. In advanced stages of the condition, a protein called apolipoprotein A-1 (apoA-1) can form amyloid deposits, which are similar in structure to those associated with Alzheimer's disease. These deposits build up within atherosclerotic plaques. Here, they increase the size of the plaques, further restricting blood flow, and may also make the plaques less stable, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Researchers found that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), most commonly associated with green tea, binds to the amyloid fibres of apoA-1. This converts the fibres to smaller soluble molecules that are less likely to be damaging to blood vessels.

David Middleton, Professor in Chemistry at Lancaster University, said:

The health benefits of green tea have been widely promoted and it has been known for some time that EGCG can alter the structures of amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Our results show that this intriguing compound might also be effective against the types of plaques which can cause heart attacks and strokes.

But to get the most health benefits out of any green tea, you need to ensure that your sourcing the best kind. Matcha happens to be one of those super green teas that contain 137 more antioxidants than regular brewed green tea. It's shade-grown to prevent direct sunlight and this decreased sunlight means the tea leaves naturally produce increasing amounts of chlorophyll and amino acids which are believed to fight diseases and free radicals in your system. 

Purematcha teas are 100% organic and our range of ceremonial and culinary teas are a great way to help your body fight off impurities in your system. Check out our teas in our online shop.

Story Source:

Materials provided by British Heart Foundation.

Journal Reference:

  1. David Townsend, Eleri Hughes, Geoffrey Akien, Katie L. Stewart, Sheena E. Radford, David Rochester, David A. Middleton. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate remodels apolipoprotein A-I amyloid fibrils into soluble oligomers in the presence of heparin. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2018; jbc.RA118.002038 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.002038