Oh Tea, Is There Anything You Can’t Do?

If you’re one of the estimated 7.5 million Americans with Psoraisis, then you just got a really great reason to drink more green tea. Research published in the Aug. 18 issue of the journal Experimental Dermatology, shows that green tea (already known to supress inflamation) may hold promise as a potential new treatment for psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions, including dandruff and lupus-related skin lesions.

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

Hsu and his colleagues believe that green tea might help treat psoriasis and other inflammatory skin diseases by regulating the action of the Caspase-14 protein gene marker, which 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.

SOURCE: Medical College of Georgia, news release, August 2007