Polyphenol intake: Green tea prevents artery explosions

cup-of-green-tea-with-leavesA new study, by Kyoto University, has revealed that a major component of green tea (polyphenols) prevents a deadly condition.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm eventually ruptured without treatment and increased the rate of death. Death occurred 50% of the time and aneurysms occurred less frequently in rats that drank green tea.

“Abdominal aortic aneurysms often go unnoticed because there are no symptoms until they burst,” said Kenji Minakata. “If a patient is lucky and bloating is found before rupture, it needs to be treated surgically, such as by transplanting an artificial blood vessel or inserting a stent graft. At the moment there are no pharmacological treatments.”

The researchers examined rats with enzymes that induced abdominal aortic aneurysm and determined that the condition developed less frequently in rats that drank green tea. The rats also had less inflammation and more elastin production, protecting the artery from rupture.

“The type of polyphenol found in green tea has recently been shown to regenerate elastin, an essential protein that gives the artery its stretchy, yet study, texture,”said lead author Shuji Setozaki. “Considering that abdominal arterial aneurysms are caused by inflammation and the degradation of elastin components in the arterial wall, we thought drinking green tea may show promise for treatment.”

“Japanese people have the longest lifespan in the world, and studies show that 80% of the population drink green tea on a daily basis,” said co-author Hidetoshi Masumoto. “We believe daily intake of green tea should be considered as a new preventative strategy for abdominal aortic aneurysm; the focus of future studies will be to investigate optimal doses.”


Shuji Setozaki, Kenji Minakata, Hidetoshi Masumoto, Shingo Hirao, Kazuhiro Yamazaki, Koichiro Kuwahara, Tadashi Ikeda, Ryuzo Sakata.Prevention of abdominal aortic aneurysm progression by oral administration of green tea polyphenol in a rat model. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 2016; DOI: 10.1016/j.jvs.2016.06.003

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