Hong Kong Med J 2001;7:369-74 | Number 4, December 2001
The medicinal action of androgens and green tea epigallocatechin gallate
S Liao
Tang Center for Herbal Medicine Research, Ben May Institute for Cancer Research and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, US
Unorthodox (non-traditional or alternative) medicinal practices have been expanding very rapidly in western countries. Modern physicians, scientists, and non-traditional medicine practitioners now must join forces to promote evidence-based medicine to benefit patients. Green tea extracts are among the most widely used ancient medicinal agents, while androgens are probably the oldest drugs used in a purified form in traditional Chinese medicine. It is now clear that a specific green tea catechin, (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate, can modulate the production and biological actions of androgens and other hormones. Modulation of androgenic activity and administration of (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate may be useful for the treatment of various hormone-related abnormalities, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia, baldness, and acne, as well as androgen-dependent and - independent prostate cancers. (-)Epigallocatechin-3-gallate has also been shown to modulate appetite and control obesity in animals.
Key words: Catechin; Medicine, Chinese traditional; Obesity; Prostatic neoplasms; Testosterone 5-alpha-reductase
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