-By Robert Preidt
The skin-healing properties of green tea may help scientists develop new treatments for skin disease and wounds, say researchers at the Medical College of Georgia.
Green tea contains compounds called polyphenols, which help eliminate free radicals. These free radicals can cause cancer by altering DNA. Polyphenols also protect healthy cells while promoting the death of cancer cells.
Cell biologist Dr. Stephen Hsu recently began studying the most abundant green tea polyphenol, called EGCG, and its effect on skin cells. Hsu and his colleagues compared the growth of normal skin cells to those exposed to EGCG.
They found the EGCG reactivated dying skin cells.
"Cells that migrate toward the surface of the skin normally live about 28 days, and by day 20 they basically sit on the upper layer of the skin getting ready to die. But EGCG reactivates them. I was so surprised," Hsu says in a news release.
He and his colleagues also found other ways that EGCG benefits skin cells.The findings indicate that EGCG may offer potential benefits for skin conditions including psoriasis, rosacea, wrinkles and wounds.
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