EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate): Benefits, Dosage, and Safety

Medically Reviewed on 7/21/2022
EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate): Benefits, Dosage, and Safety
Learn about the health benefits and potential side effects of ECGC

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a plant compound also known as catechin. Catechins are potent antioxidants that help protect cells against free radical damage.

ECGC is mostly found in green tea, although it is also found in other varieties of tea (black, white, oolong). Green tea also contains other catechins, such as epicatechin, epigallocatechin, and epicatechin gallate.

Learn about the health benefits and potential side effects of ECGC.

8 health benefits of EGCG

1. Prevents cellular damage

EGCG is an antioxidant that can combat free radical damage. EGCG is at least 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times more effective than vitamin E at protecting cells from damage associated with oxidative stress, which is linked to a wide range of diseases including heart disease and cancer.

2. Lowers the risk of heart disease

EGCG also has anti-inflammatory properties that are good for heart health. Studies have shown that EGCG in green tea may help lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as prevent atherosclerosis. All of these are risk factors for heart disease.

3. Regulates blood sugar levels

Green tea is associated with regulating blood sugar levels and preventing or slowing down the progress of type I diabetes. While this may be due to the EGCG content in green tea, more studies are needed to establish the link between EGCG and blood sugar levels.

4. Lowers the risk of liver disease

Studies have shown that men who consume more than 10 cups of green tea a day are at lower risk of liver disease. EGCG has also been shown to help in the treatment of viral hepatitis (inflammation of the liver from a virus).

Green tea may help protect the liver by:

  • Protecting the liver from the harmful effects of toxins such as alcohol
  • Killing dangerous intestinal bacterial strains (Clostridium and Escherichia coli)
  • Encouraging the growth of friendly bacteria in the intestine
  • Reducing excessive iron levels which could interfere with ribavirin and interferon treatment for hepatitis C

5. Eases symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

EGCG suppresses interleukin 8, a pro-inflammatory cytokine, which can help reduce the risk of gastrointestinal inflammation and IBDs such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Green tea is also associated with a lowered risk of colon cancer, which is especially beneficial for people who are at a high risk of cancer secondary to IBD.

6. Promotes joint health

EGCG has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent or reduce the risk of various joint diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and bursitis. Many people with arthritis report improvement in symptoms when taking EGCG supplements and eating foods rich in EGCG.

7. May support weight loss

EGCG may help improve metabolism and burn fat. One animal study showed that EGCG is linked to desensitized leptin (hunger hormone) receptors and suppressed appetite.

8. Helps prevent cancer

EGCG has chemoprotective properties and may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer in certain people when consumed regularly. EGCG may be given intravenously as a part of cancer treatment to slow down and prevent cancer growth. 

Studies have shown that green tea not only slows cancer but may also help prevent metastasis and recurrence after cancer therapy. However, further research is needed to demonstrate how EGCG plays a role in fighting cancer cells.

What is the recommended dose of EGCG?

One cup of brewed green tea (8 ounces) contains about 50-100 mg of EGCG. 

For most people, drinking 1-4 cups of green tea a day is generally considered safe unless you are sensitive to caffeine or oxalates. Health experts typically recommend drinking 2-3 cups of high-quality green tea a day to maximize the benefits of the catechins. However, it is unclear how much EGCG is safe to take on a daily basis. 

If you are considering taking EGCG supplements, make sure you buy from a reliable source. Commercial supplements are not strictly regulated by the FDA. Most experts recommend starting with 400 mg of EGCG supplements and gradually increasing to no more than 800 mg until you know how you react.

Because there is a wide range of dosage recommendations, consider starting with a smaller dose of 150-400 mg daily and gradually increasing as necessary.

Are there any risks associated with EGCG?

According to the FDA records, there are concerns regarding additives used in the storage of EGCG, including an elevated risk of organ damage and cancer. However, the FDA has yet to thoroughly analyze the safety of EGCG-based food additives.

Because there is limited information regarding the safety and effectiveness of EGCG supplements, it is crucial to choose a high-quality product and follow dosage guidelines. High amounts of supplements are linked to potential liver damage.

EGCG supplements may cause side effects such as:

Pregnant women and people with kidney failure, liver disease, or certain heart diseases should avoid using EGCG supplements. If you are currently taking medications for cholesterol or blood pressure, talk to your doctor before using supplements.


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 7/21/2022
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