Green Tea Extract (caffeine free) helps protect patients on dialysis

November 21, 2007

Patients with end stage renal disease on dialysis create a large amount of free radicals and these free radicals contribute to causing or worsening additional diseases (what we call comorbidities). In this study the level of various values were compared between 6 healthy subjects and 54 patients on hemodialysis.

First a caffeine free Green Tea Extract was given to the 6 healthy patients and 10 dialysis patients to check its pharmacokinetics (rate of absorption, increase and decrease in blood levels, and excretion); the Green Tea Extract lasted in the blood of the dialysis patients longer than in the healthy patients but it also took longer to reach a peak level in the blood of these patients.

In the next step of the study 10 dialysis patients received either no catechins (placebo), 455mg of catechins, or 910mg of catechins in a single dose and this was compared to the antioxidant effects of a single dose of Vitamin C 500mg; all given during a dialysis session. The two doses of catechins worked equally as well and were superior to Vitamin C or placebo in reducing formation of dangerous hypochlorous acid in the blood of dialysis patients; this is a bleaching and oxidizing agent that generates the free radicals. The Green Tea catechins also significantly reduced the level of messengers from the immune system that causes inflammation; dialysis triggers the release and activity of these messengers leading to inflammation and cellular damage.

Finally, in the last leg of the experiment 44 dialysis patients were placed on either placebo or 455mg a day of Green Tea catechins for 3 months. The Green Tea reduced the level of hydrogen peroxide seen in dialysis patients before treatment. Hypochlorous acid activity, peroxides, C-reactive protein, and inflammation causing messengers (proinflammatory cytokines) all were reduced by the caffeine free Green Tea Extract. The study is published in the November 2007 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.