What is EGCG? Learn Its Key Benefits


EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, is a type of catechin, which is a natural phenol and antioxidant. It is a powerful antioxidant found in green tea and is largely responsible for many of its health benefits. Here’s a closer look:

What is EGCG?

EGCG belongs to a group of plant compounds called polyphenols, specifically a subtype known as catechins. Catechins are a form of flavonoid, which are known for their antioxidant activity. EGCG is the most studied and potent catechin, known for its significant health-promoting properties.

Health Benefits of EGCG

  1. Antioxidant Properties:
    • Neutralizing Free Radicals: EGCG helps neutralise harmful free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress and preventing cell damage.
    • Anti-Aging: By protecting cells from damage, EGCG can contribute to slower aging processes and healthier skin.
  2. Heart Health:
    • Cholesterol Management: EGCG can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.
    • Blood Pressure: It may help lower blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health.
  3. Weight Loss and Metabolism:
    • Fat Oxidation: EGCG boosts the body’s metabolism and increases fat oxidation, which can aid in weight loss.
    • Thermogenesis: It promotes thermogenesis, the process by which the body burns calories to produce heat.
  4. Brain Health:
    • Neuroprotection: EGCG may protect brain cells from oxidative stress and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
    • Cognitive Function: It can enhance cognitive functions and improve brain performance.
  5. Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Cancer Properties:
    • Inflammation Reduction: EGCG has strong anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
    • Cancer Prevention: It may inhibit the growth of cancer cells and reduce the spread of tumours by interfering with various cellular processes involved in cancer development.
  6. Blood Sugar Regulation:
    • Glucose Control: EGCG can improve insulin sensitivity and help regulate blood sugar levels, which is beneficial for people with or at risk of diabetes.

Sources of EGCG

EGCG is found in other foods and plants, though green tea is the most abundant and well-known source. Here are some other sources:

1. White Tea

  • Content: White tea, like green tea, comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, though generally in slightly lower amounts compared to green tea.

2. Black Tea

  • Content: Black tea also contains catechins, including EGCG, but in much lower concentrations because the fermentation process that black tea undergoes converts most catechins into other compounds called theaflavins and thearubigins.

3. Oolong Tea

  • Content: Oolong tea, which is partially fermented, contains intermediate levels of catechins, including EGCG. The content is generally lower than in green and white teas.

4. Some Fruits

  • Strawberries: Strawberries have been found to contain small amounts.
  • Kiwifruit: Kiwifruit also contains minor quantities of EGCG.

5. Nuts

  • Pecans: Pecans have been identified as containing trace amounts.

6. Other Plants

  • Carob: Carob, commonly used as a chocolate substitute, contains small amounts.
  • Fennel: Some studies have found EGCG in fennel seeds, though in very low concentrations.

7. Supplements

  • EGCG Supplements: EGCG is available in supplement form, often extracted from green tea. These supplements can provide a concentrated dose and are used for their antioxidant and health-promoting properties.


While green tea remains the richest and most accessible source, this beneficial compound can also be found in smaller amounts in various teas, certain fruits, nuts, and other plants. For those looking to increase their intake, consuming green tea and, to a lesser extent, white and oolong teas, is the most effective approach. Supplements can also be considered for higher doses, but it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.




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