Green Tea May Brew Up Healthier Skin

MONDAY Aug. 20, 2007 -- Green tea may hold promise as a new treatment for psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions, including dandruff and lupus-related skin lesions, according to a U.S. study

Medical College of Georgia researchers found that green tea slowed the growth of skin cells in rodents genetically predisposed to psoriasis.

The findings were published in the Aug. 18 issue of the journal Experimental Dermatology.

"Psoriasis, an autoimmune disease, causes the skin to become thicker, because the growth of skin cells is out of control," lead investigator Dr. Stephen Hsu, an oral biologist in the MCG School of Dentistry, explained in a prepared statement. "In psoriasis, immune cells, which usually protect against infection, instead trigger the release of cytokines, which causes inflammation and the overproduction of skin cells."

Previous research has shown that green tea helps suppress inflammation.

Hsu and his colleagues suggested that green tea helps treat psoriasis and other inflammatory skin diseases by regulating the expression of Caspase-14, a protein in genes that regulates the life cycle of skin cells.

"That marker guides cells by telling them when to differentiate, die off and form a skin barrier. In people with psoriasis, that process is interrupted, and the skin cells don't die before more are created and the resulting lesions form," Hsu said.

More information

The American Academy of Dermatology has more about psoriasis.

Posted: August 2007


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