Why is it that so few diet products are backed by science? Let’s find out if EGCG is one of the good ones. We did extensive research on its ingredients, side effects, customer service, and clinical research. We also read hundreds of reviews. After all this, we digested all of the facts in order to give you the bottom line.
1. What is EGCG?
EGCG, or Epigallocatechin gallate (also known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate), is a type of a catechin which is naturally found in green tea. It is thought to be the most active chemical component of green tea, and is primarily responsible for the detoxifying properties and lipid breakdown properties of the tea.
EGCG is sometimes called Green Tea Extract or GTE as well. However, EGCG is also included as a synthetic ingredient in many weight loss supplements and there are some who sell EGCG supplement as a separate compound as well.
Green tea is made using the leaves of green tea (Camellia sinensis) plant. These leaves are steeped in warm water and consumed as a tea. It brings about most of its health benefits through the chemicals called catechins, out of which EGCG is the most active.
Green tea is considered healthy and beneficial for almost all of the organs of the human body. It has anti-carcinogenic, anti-atherogenic, and anti-diabetic properties and is regarded cardioprotective, liver protective, neuroprotective, and known to improve the health of your blood vessels. 
So, invariably, the EGCG supplement too can be thought of as having these health benefits.
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2. How Did EGCG Start?
EGCG as an ingredient in green tea has its historical origins in ancient China more than thousands of years ago. Originally green tea was taken as a medicinal drink and the practice is said to be started somewhere around the 3rd century. It is descriptively depicted in a book called Tea Classic written in 600-900 AD by Lu Yu.
Also, in a book called Book of Tea written in 1911 by Eisai, a Zen priest, the health benefits and the process of growing and processing green tea is elaborated.
Chinese people have long known to use green tea even from pre-historic times. They were well aware of the myriad of health benefits it had. They used it in their ancient medical tradition as well as in day to day lives as a beverage.
In current Chinese medical practice, EGCG supplement is used in managing hormone levels after treatment for certain disease conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia. [Cite URL = https://www.livestrong.com/article/282106-the-benefits-of-epigallocatechin-gallate/]
3. EGCG Claims
EGCG, as the most potent catechin contained in green tea, is long known for its ability to increase metabolism and thereby promote weight loss. This basic idea has been confirmed in clinical trials. From the International Journal of Obesity:
The authors reported that there was a significant positive effect of catechins on weight loss and weight maintenance 
This has become an important claim for many weight loss product manufacturers to include in their marketing campaigns. Another major health benefit of EGCG supplement is its effect on fat breakdown as claimed by the products.
In addition, there are a number of advantages related to health when using EGCG supplement or green tea.
Green tea is thought to be one of the most powerful antioxidants which derives its antioxidant capabilities mainly from its most potent catechin: EGCG. This property is highlighted in many detox tea products that include green tea.
It also improves immunity mainly through the action of EGCG on component cells. EGCG is well known as an anti-cancer agent and its effect on suppressing the growth of cancer cells is proven scientifically.
However, many products claim EGCG to be an effective treatment for cancer, which is suspected but not confirmed. EGCG is known to suppress the growth of cancer cells, but is not scientifcally-proven to reverse or treat a progressed cancer.
EGCG is said to enhance the activity of insulin, and promote prostate and gut health as well. [Cite URL = https://supplementpolice.com/egcg-green-tea-extract/]
4. EGCG Ingredients
Each green tea extract capsule contains:
- Ascorbyl palmitate (fat-soluble form of vitamin C)
Ascorbyl palmitate is taken out of palm oil and fermentation of corn dextrose. [Cite URL = http://www.pureencapsulations.com/media/Green%20Tea%20extract.pdf]
5. Does EGCG Work?
Because green tea is a very popular and proven herbal beverage for many health conditions, it is safe for us to make an educated guess about EGCG’s potency and effectiveness as an ingredient.
But, an EGCG supplement as a stand-alone product doesn’t have very much to prove as a weight loss promoting agent. There have been a number of negative reviews from a number of users who tried it without any sound benefit over weeks.
As every other product though, EGCG too have a fan base. Those consumers say that it has changed their appetite, made them eat less, seem to elevate their rate of metabolism, and reduce the instances of late night cravings. So, there seem to be two sides of this coin as well.
For a person satisfied only with solid scientific research, a stand-alone EGCG supplement won’t be a fulfilling product for weight loss, as there is little or no evidence to prove its effectiveness. However, green tea extract has some excellent research to back its effectiveness in reducing appetite, losing weight, and increasing metabolism. [Cite URL = https://www.dietspotlight.com/egcg-review/]
6. EGCG Benefits and Results
An EGCG supplement is thought to be beneficial in many health conditions in men and women.
It is effective as an antioxidant, useful in Alzheimer’s disease, has blood thinning properties, improves brain function, prevents and improves cancer, controls blood sugar, promotes cardiovascular health and endothelial function, aids in improving muscle metabolism in multiple sclerosis, helpful in Parkinson’s disease and of course, promotes weight loss in combination with other compounds.
These benefits are brought about through different mechanisms. At a molecular level, it interacts with molecules in the cell membrane regulates intercellular signal conduction pathways. This comes in handy in reducing amyloidosis (deposition of certain proteins) in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia improving the conditions in general.
EGCG’s antioxidant properties are helpful to protect the cells from free radical damage. It is also known to have blood-thinning properties by way of reducing platelets. This property can be used effectively to prevent thrombus formation that occurs commonly in patients with coronary artery disease and strokes.
EGCG supplementation has a role in the preveintion of cancers as well. It stimulates apoptosis (Cell death mechanism) in cancer cell lines in humans. When it comes to treating cancers and controlling the spread of a newly formed cancer, this property can be used to great effect.
An EGCG supplement is also helpful in managing heart diseases, where it improves endothelial function and wards off complications of coronary heart diseases.
The list is still not over. Patients with Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis are known to be benefited by EGCG. We can go on and on listing many more.
So, with a multitude of such scientifically proven and unproven health benefits, EGCG is a very useful compound. However, it has its work cut out to prove itself as a weight loss promoting agent. [Cite URL = https://www.livestrong.com/article/282106-the-benefits-of-epigallocatechin-gallate/]
7. Details on EGCG and Weight Loss
According to some weight loss gurus and experts in the diet supplement industry, green tea and EGCG can decrease body fat and thereby help lose weight. Also, it is said to increase the metabolic rate of your body and make you burn more fat. What is most attractive is that EGCG supplement specifically reduces your belly fat (visceral fat).
In a research conducted in 2009, men who took 660 mg of EGCG had significant weight loss. EGCG was taken in the form of green and black tea and when further analyzed, men who had green tea lost 5.4 lbs over a period of 12 weeks when compared to 2.9 lbs lost by men who had black tea. It was also observed that men who received higher EGCG dose lost more weight in the form of their belly fat.
Another set of studies conducted by scientists at Rutgers University found that EGCG was effective in weight loss in mice even without dieting. There is more proof with green tea. A German scientist too found a correlation between green tea consumption and weight loss.
After all the speculations about the credibility of EGCG supplement as a weight loss promoting agent, there seems to be a silver lining. But, as noted earlier, it is effective when contained in green tea and should be used with care as a stand-alone product. Some vitamin supplements too contain EGCG and these should also be consumed with caution, especially when taken in higher doses. [Cite URL = https://www.livestrong.com/article/285101-what-is-egcg-in-vitamins/]
8. EGCG And Cognitive Function
EGCG as a chemical compound has the ability to pass through the blood brain barrier which increases the activity of the brain for about 2 hours since ingestion. It has been demonstrated that EGCG doses of 300 mg have the capability to do this.
It was also demonstrated in rats that higher EGCG levels improve their spatial and other components of memory. So, it is safe to conclude that green tea might have a beneficial effect on human cognition. [Cite URL = https://examine.com/supplements/green-tea-catechins/]
9. EGCG And Immunity
EGCG improves human immunity by way of enhancing the function of the cellular components of the immune system. Natural Killer cells (NK cells) are one such component which is responsible for protecting against infections and killing malignant cells. In one study, EGCG supplement enhanced the phagocytic activity of NK cells upon administration into mice. It also interacts with Mast cells of the immune system and enhances immunity. [Cite URL = https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23988898] [Cite URL = https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17707774]
10. EGCG And Cancer
As mentioned above, EGCG supplement is effective as an anti-cancer agent and helps prevention and cure at a molecular level. This is brought about by enhancing apoptosis of cancer cells and by inhibiting vital enzymes like topoisomerases, COX 2, and telomerase. Also, it is thought to inhibit BCL-2 proteins. This activity has been shown to improve prognosis in prostate and breast cancers. In addition, EGCG supplement is also thought to improve bladder cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, gastric cancer, and skin cancer. [Cite URL = http://www.aacr.org/home/public–media/aacr-in-the-news.aspx?d=2927] [Cite URL = http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22044694]
11. How to Use (Take) EGCG
The standard dosage when it comes to EGCG contained in green tea is variable from one cup to another, as there are no specific measurements involved and the distribution of the chemical within tea can vary.
However, it is estimated that there is approximately 50 mg of EGCG in a given cup of Camellia sinensis green tea.
As mentioned early, the fat burning and lipid oxidation mechanisms of EGCG (stand-alone) are activated in humans only in higher doses of around 500 mg.
Anti-cancer properties of EGCG supplement too are observed in higher doses of the isolated form.
Most of the health benefits of EGCG are observed when it is in combination with other catechins, as contained in green tea.
But, when using an EGCG supplement for purposes where it requires a higher dose, it is always recommended that you consult your healthcare practitioner or a qualified doctor to discuss the potential risks and benefits. Also, keep in mind to let the doctor know of any health condition that you are suffering from and any medication that you are currently on. [Cite URL = https://examine.com/supplements/green-tea-catechins/]
12. Potential EGCG Side Effects
As EGCG is a potent stimulant, individuals who take a stand-alone EGCG supplement or as part of green tea or other supplements can experience symptoms like hyperstimulation, sleep disturbances, and increased alertness. These side effects are most commonly seen when higher doses of EGCG are ingested.
Also, there have been rare incidences where large doses of green tea extract bringing about concerns related to liver health. It is advised to discontinue green tea and seek urgent medical assistance if you have symptoms like dark urine, yellowish discoloration of the sclera, or abdominal pain. Excessive administration of EGCG supplement and other catechins also can lead to toxicity in the stomach and intestines as well. It is also speculated that excessive EGCG levels in the blood can sometimes impair kidney function as well
13. EGCG Product Warnings
Before using an EGCG supplement as a stand-alone chemical, or as part of a vitamin supplement or as green tea, it is advisable to consult your healthcare practitioner if you have certain medical conditions or you have a history of those medical conditions. These include anemia, bleeding or clotting disorders, diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure, glaucoma, irritable bowel syndrome, liver diseases, osteoporosis, and anxiety disorders.
EGCG in green tea and supplements in moderate amounts is considered “possibly safe” during pregnancy. It is also advised to consult your doctor before taking EGCG in green tea or otherwise when breastfeeding as green tea has the ability to pass into breast milk. [Cite URL = https://www.drugs.com/mtm/green-tea.html]
14. EGCG Drug Interactions
Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs, herbal products, and vitamins are known to interact with green tea and it’s EGCG. Special caution should be exercised when using these drugs and it is recommended that you consult your healthcare provider before using green tea if you are on any of the following medications.
Common medications interact with green tea, including asthma medications, drugs used for depression and other mental disorders, medications that slows blood clotting, drugs used to treat cancer, drugs taken for seizures, medications used for heart conditions, birth control pills and estrogen, any antibiotic or antifungal drugs, and stimulant drugs. [Cite URL = https://www.drugs.com/mtm/green-tea.html]
16. EGCG Alternatives
EGCG or green tea extract remains a popular and healthy supplement throughout the world. However, if anyone seeks to opt for a different alternative, there are a few varieties of tea which they can enjoy while having almost the same bunch of health benefits on board.
Oolong tea is a great alternative to green tea extract as it is considered a fresh and fruity tea. It is neither very bitter like black tea nor it is grassy like green tea. It is known to have benefits in improving antioxidant activity and alleviating skin related problems.
White tea is just a little darker than the color of water and is considered a very gentle and subtle form of tea. Its flavor is said to be hardly detectable by many who have tasted it. White tea is very rich in antioxidants and also it is said to have the capability of restricting the growth of cancer cells. So, for an individual who doesn’t find green tea enjoyable, white tea would be the perfect replacement as it has somewhat similar health benefits.
Black tea is the next alternative you can try. Although the name says black, the tea does not look black in the cup. The name comes from the color of the tea leaves. Commonly found flavors are Darjeeling and Earl Grey. Black tea is said to be beneficial in improving heart conditions and cancers of the colon.
The other alternative is Pu-erh tea which is an earthy, dark colored tea. It is said to have a tobacco like flavor. Unlike other forms of tea, Pu-erh has probiotic properties due to fermentation. It is also quite expensive owing to the complex process it undergoes during the manufacturing stages. Studies have shown that it has an effect on reducing blood cholesterol levels.
Herbal teas made using peppermint and ginger can also be consumed as alternatives for green tea. They have a multitude of health benefits just like green tea depending on the herb used. [Cite URL = https://www.thealternativedaily.com/alternatives-to-green-tea/]
17. EGCG Science
Green tea extract is backed by some incredible research, noting its intense metabolic, appetite, and weight-loss effects. However, EGCG is only a small component of green tea extract, and although lots of science backs up its health benefits, we aren’t so sure about it helping you lose extra fat. At DietSpotlight, we like to see some science before we recommend any product. In this case, there might not be enough.
What Users Are Saying
“”I love this product because it’s incredibly cheap, has a high amount of EGCG and some vitamin C, though I also take it with citrus bioflavanoids for some extra C. Sometimes I’ll take it at the same time I’m eating an orange or a little fat, but always away from protein.””
“”Heard about this and a ton of other products to help boost energy and loose body fat. This nor any of the other products works for me. But it may work for you.””
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“”Doesn’t really work. When I take I get super jittery and nauseous from the caffeine. I would choose caffeine free in the future.””
18. The Bottom Line – Does EGCG Work?
So, should you clear the shelves of the EGCG supplements? When we first started researching the chemical, we found that it did have some science and customer reviews backing it up. However, we also saw that many individuals suffered from negative side effects and a lack of any weight-loss results, something that disappointed us. For that reason, we are hesitant to recommend this product.
If you are ready to lose weight, we suggest using a supplement that’s made with clinically tested ingredients, isn’t associated with harmful side effects and is backed by great customer service.
Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Dietspotlight Burn. It is a weight-loss product that has clinically tested ingredients, positive reviews, and a supportive customer service department. Plus, no harmful side effects have been reported.
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