The lead researcher from the University of Michigan Health System, Salah-uddin Ahmed, mentioned that the study conducted in the laboratory has revealed so, though the findings are only in the preliminary stage.
Ahmed conducted the study by isolating ‘synovial fibroblast’ cells from the joints of RA patients, as these cells form a lining surrounding the joint capsule. This lining when inflamed leads to chronic pain and joint damage.
These cells were then cultured and exposed to ‘epigallaocatechin-3-gallate’ (EGCG), an active ingredient found in green tea. These were stimulated by a protein ‘cytokine interleukin-1 beta’ (IL-1B), present in the immune system which is known to play a key role in joint degradation.
It was found that EGCG suppressed the action of IL-1B and IL-6, the two potent molecules and also blocked the production of Prostaglandin E2, a compound responsible for joint inflammation.
This research by Ahmed, on green tea and RA, if fruitful, could be good news for RA patients providing them with a non-drug option to control pain.
Ahmed mentions that though it would be too early to advise RA patients to begin drinking green tea, the practice of drinking green tea certainly will not hurt, given the numerous other health benefits without any side effects, that the green tea is considered to have. Drinking green tea continuously all through the day, in fact, helps keep the blood vessels more constant.