Green tea and its bioactive catechin epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG) may have a therapeutic and positive effect in ameliorated symptoms and treatment of chronic back pain, some scientists suggested.
Green tea is a precious drink processes numbers of health benefit known to almost everyone in Asia and Western world.
Back pain is a condition of Musculo-Skeletal disorders(MSDs) of the spine caused by various factors, including bone fractures, muscle or ligament injure, arthritis, herniated discs. aging,....
Application of biologically active polyphenol epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG) demonstrated a significant effect in reduced back pain through facilitate anti inflammatory and anti-catabolic activity in patients with intervertebral disc (IVD) disease due to age-related changes in the adult disc in induction of back pain.
According to the study by the Institute for Biomechanics (D-HEST), ETH Zurich ingestion of green tea EGCG on back pain patients, human IVD cells isolated from patients undergoing surgery due to degenerative disc disease (n = 34) and cultured in 2D or 3D indicated that the phytochemical inhibited levels of inflammatory response activated by IL-1β, a cytokine protein produced by macrophages, with function in contributed to the inflammatory pain hypersensitivity in the site of infection observed by the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), western blotting, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), immunofluorescence and transcription factor assay.
Further more, application also displayed a strong effect in reduced expression of
p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases in mediated inflammatory factors of IL-1β in responded to stress stimuli.
Also, according to the Institute for Biomechanics (D-HEST), in the investigation of the analgesic properties of EGCG, by the von Frey filament test in Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 60), green tea EGCG injection also significantly inhibited the expression of pro-inflammatory mediators as expressed in above and reduced matrix metalloproteinases which have been found to associate to pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and other proteins to regulate varied aspects of inflammation and immunity.
Moreover, in the radiculopathic pain component, researchers also indicated that EGCG inhibited the inflammation in precipitated back pain through modulation of the activity of IRAK-1 in glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle and p38, c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) and nuclear factor NF-κB in responded to stress stimuli in mediated production of pain related pro inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β.
Some researchers postulated that back pain may also induced by muscle degeneration and impairment nerve injury, leading to increased levels of reactive oxygen species in induced tissue apoptosis.
In crushing of the sciatic nerve induced back pain in tested animal, application of green tea EGCG improved motor function in the toe spread and foot positioning and gain in the percentage motor deficit.
More importantly, EGCG expressed a significant effect in recovery of sensory innervation in neuropathic pain-like syndrome and improvement of muscle tissues from injured limb with severe histopathological alterations at the end of week 3 post-surgery in treated animals.
According to the RT-PCR assay, EGCG treatment also normalizing the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, abnormal ratio of the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio has been found to associate in induction of nerve cell apoptosis as well as inhibited levels of p53 with function in regulated the cell death cycle at days 3 and 7 post-surgery.
These results demonstrated a important effect of green tea EGCG in enhanced functional recovery, protected muscle fibers from cellular death, and improved morphological recovery in skeletal muscle after nerve injuries.
However, in the study of caffeine activity in the modulation of pain perception in chronic pain states of 131 patients with chronic low back pain (64 men and 67 women; mean age = 42.1 years; mean duration of pain = 6.1 years) referred to a multidisciplinary pain clinic over a 2-year period, researchers found that in compared to caffeine intake regardless concentration, cffeine is not related to the global experience of pain and disability in patients with chronic low back pain, although high caffeine use may be embedded in a context of other unhealthy life-style behaviors.
Taken together, green tea and its bioactive component epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG) may be considered as functional food in reduced back pain caused by physical damage of the spine and injured nerve cells. Intake of green tea supplement should be taken exceptional care as some cases of liver acute toxicity have been reported in medical literature.
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Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bio science, ISSN 0975-6299.
(1) Epigallocatechin 3-gallate suppresses interleukin-1β-induced inflammatory responses in intervertebral disc cells in vitro and reduces radiculopathic pain in rats by Krupkova O1, Sekiguchi M, Klasen J, Hausmann O, Konno S, Ferguson SJ, Wuertz-Kozak K.(PubMed)
(2) (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) attenuates functional deficits and morphological alterations by diminishing apoptotic gene overexpression in skeletal muscles after sciatic nerve crush injury by Renno WM1, Al-Maghrebi M, Al-Banaw A.(PubMed)
(3) Caffeine and chronic low back pain by Currie SR1, Wilson KG, Gauthier ST.(PubMed)