Recent studies on the usage of EGCG (green tea extract) in Multiple Sclerosis patients have shown a benefit as a neuroprotective agent - but EGCG is also a known chelator of iron and is capable of removing iron from the brain. Consider this wonderful, natural, inexpensive and non-toxic supplement. Something you can do today. Charite University in Berlin is currently conducting a clinical trial of EGCG in MS. http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00525668
(see studies below)
Recent studies in MS and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), indicate that already during the early phase of inflammation, neuronal pathology involving axonal transection and loss of parental cell bodies plays a critical role in disease severity. Therefore, efforts to develop new therapeutic strategies in MS must consider both inflammatory and neurodegenerative aspects of the disease. EGCG, has emerged as a potent neuroprotective agent for treatment of several neuropathological states associated with damaging effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS). EGCG has an inhibitory effect both on inflammation, by influencing T cell proliferation and inhibiting the activation of NF- B, and on neurodegeneration through its antioxidative potency as a free radical scavenger. In the present study we aim to evaluate the safety and neuroprotective effects of orally administered epigallocatechin-gallate in patients with relapsing-remitting MS in a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, stratified, placebo-controlled prospective 2-arm study. As a result of its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective potency, EGCG should be significantly more effective than placebo in reducing the development of new contrast enhancing and T2 lesions on the one hand, but also in their conversion into T1-hypointense lesions ( black holes ), and in arresting the disease dependent acceleration of brain atrophy, and neuronal loss or dysfunction.
Evidence to link abnormal metal (iron, copper and zinc) metabolism and handling with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases pathology has frequently been reported. The capacity of free iron to enhance and promote the generation of toxic reactive oxygen radicals has been discussed numerous times. Metal chelation has the potential to prevent iron-induced oxidative stress and aggregation of alpha-synuclein and beta-amyloid peptides. The efficacy of iron chelators depends on their ability to penetrate the subcellular compartments and cellular membranes where iron dependent free radicals are generated. Thus, natural, non-toxic, brain permeable neuroprotective drugs, are preferentially advocated for “ironing out iron” from those brain areas where it preferentially accumulates in neurodegenerative diseases. This review will discuss the most recent findings from in vivo and in vitro studies concerning the transitional metal (iron and copper) chelating property of green tea and its major polyphenol, (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate with respect to their potential for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.