Research in mice suggests that green tea might help slow some muscle degeneration seen in muscular dystrophy, possibly through its antioxidant powers.
In experiments with mice that exhibit symptoms like those of muscular dystrophy, Swiss scientists found that daily doses of a green tea extract appeared to slow deterioration in some muscle tissue. They speculate that the tea may have protected against oxidative stress in the animals' muscle.
Several studies have suggested green tea might help ward off heart disease and certain cancers, possibly due to antioxidant compounds called polyphenols. Antioxidants help neutralize cell-damaging forms of oxygen that occur naturally in the body and are believed to contribute to many chronic diseases. According to this research team, this oxidative stress may also contribute to muscle wasting, and signs of oxidative stress have been found in the muscle of patients with muscular dystrophy.
Duchenne is the most common form of childhood muscular dystrophy, and is caused by mutation in a gene on the X chromosome. It affects boys almost exclusively, and most patients die by the time they reach their 20s.
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