An antioxidant found in green tea may help protect patients who are recovering from a liver transplant, according to a study done on mice.
In the study, researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston, gave mice doses of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the major flavonoid in green tea.
They then performed surgeries that resulted in a restriction in blood flow ischemia) that threatened to injure the rodents' livers.
Mice that got the green tea derivative showed a 100% post-surgery survival rate, compared with a 65% survival rate for the mice who did not receive the compound.
In addition, mice receiving the tea extract had less liver cell damage and retained a higher percentage of viable tissue.
EGCG seems to protect transplanted organs from ischemia-induced complications following liver transplantation, particularly when the patient is obese or has a fatty liver.
The green tea extract is believed to act as an antioxidant, protecting fatty livers from injury and reducing liver fat content by approximately 55%.
This research follows a previous study that found simply rinsing the liver in a solution containing green tea extract helped prevent transplant failure.
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