Potential Benefits of Green Tea Extracts for Down Syndrome
According to a recent international study led by researchers from Spain and Belgium, green tea extract could potentially lower the odds of children with Down syndrome developing facial dysmorphia. It’s not surprising that scientists are searching for new health benefits of green tea, as it’s long been thought to have various medicinal properties.
The study has shown that green tea extracts were most effective when taken during the first three years of the child’s life. Additional experiments in mice confirmed positive results at relatively low doses.
However, high doses of the extracts can interfere with bone and facial growth. Consumers, therefore, should always take these extracts under the guidance of medical supervision, as much research is still needed.
Worldwide, there are approximately 6 million individuals with Down syndrome. The condition is triggered by trisomy 21, which means that instead of two copies of chromosome 21, the person has three. One of the genes that affect bone and brain growth in individuals with the condition is DYRK1A. It’s believed that EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), the compound found in green tea, can inhibit the activity of DYRK1A.
This new study took place in Spain and included children from North America, with 287 participants (from 0 to 18), including 13 with the condition. Of these 13 children, some received supplementation with EGCG, while others didn’t. The results revealed that after supplementation with green tea, the facial dysmorphology decreased.
Unfortunately, the researchers did not find similar results in the group of adolescents. So, the study indicates that green tea supplements have only a minor impact on facial development when given early in life when the skull and the face are developing.
In closing, according to Professor Martínez-Abadías, the research shows possible advantageous effects of facial development at minor doses. Ultimately, more human-related research is needed to determine the most favorable dosage for the correct age group.
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