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THE AMAZING HEALING POTENTIAL OF NATURAL NRF2 ACTIVATORS

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD natural nrf2 activators healing potential

When I first learned about Nrf2 activators in early 2012, I became quite enthusiastic about new knowledge that natural substances called polyphenolic compounds had the ability to activate this transcription factor. Once released in the cell Nrf2 can migrate to the nucleus and cause the body to endogenously produce high levels of key protective/antioxidant enzymes.

Also, I actively began the development of a product called Ultimate Protector that contains many concentrates and extracts from fruits, vegetables, and herbs. This product functions as 1) an excellent source of many Nrf2 activators, 2) a source of powerful antioxidants exhibiting an extremely high ORAC5.0 value per serving, and 3) a source of non-GMO Vitamin C.

More recently (July 2019) I have updated the product to Ultimate Protector+ that contains some exciting new ingredients that are now available on the market including SFB® (Standardized Fruit Blend) that contains among others mangosteen, goji berry, pomegranate, and apple extracts (click on the ingredient name to see detailed blog articles concerning these). In addition, I have added significant amounts of ingredients that are well known as potent Nrf2 activators and antioxidants including Green Tea extract and VinCare® whole grape extract.

 

Ultimate Protector+

New Ultimate Protector+

 

It is interesting to note that over 16 years ago I formulated a wonderful antioxidant formula called PRO-C™. PRO-C™ contains Buffered Vitamin C (in the form of powdered calcium, magnesium, and zinc ascorbates), high-potency Grape Extract (from grape pulp, skins, and seeds), Green Tea Extract, reduced Glutathione, N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC), R-Lipoic Acid, coenzyme forms of Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B6, and Selenium.

PRO-C™ has been one of the most effective products at supporting health I have ever formulated. Our current knowledge shows that PRO-C™ contains four effective Nrf2 activators, selenium needed for glutathione peroxidase functioning, Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B6 that support the effectiveness of glutathione, and antioxidants including Vitamin C and glutathione. I recently wrote a blog article titled PRO-C™ SUPER ANTIOXIDANT FORMULA that provides details concerning this formula.

My current personal list of supplements that I (and my wife) take every day includes both Ultimate Protector+™ and PRO-C™. We feel gifted to have these products available to us!!

In this article, I will provide greater insight into the natural sources of Nrf2 activators and how they perform in the body.

SOME KEY ENZYMES MODULATED BY Nrf2 ACTIVATORS

Activation of Nrf2 results in the induction of many cytoprotective proteins. We have seen articles that claim over 200 different enzymes can be produced in the body by Nrf2 activators, but have also seen reference that over 4,000 enzymes may be produced!  Examples of some of the key enzymes are shown below:

  • NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase 1 – a prototypical Nrf2 target gene that catalyzes the reduction and detoxification of highly reactive quinones that can cause redox cycling and oxidative stress.
  • Superoxide dismutases (SOD) – enzymes that catalyze the dismutation of superoxide (O2) into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. Thus, they are an important antioxidant defense in nearly all cells exposed to oxygen where superoxide is one of the main reactive oxygen species. SOD is known to provide powerful antinflammatory activity.
  • Glutamate-cysteine ligase which is the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of glutathione (GSH), a very powerful endogenous antioxidant. Glutamate-cysteine ligase is a characteristic Nrf2 target gene, which establishes Nrf2 as a regulator of glutathione, one of the most important antioxidants in the body.
  • Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is an enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of heme into the antioxidant biliverdin, the anti-inflammatory agent carbon monoxide, and iron. HO-1 is a Nrf2 target gene that has been shown to protect from a variety of pathologies, including sepsis, hypertension, atherosclerosis, acute lung injury, kidney injury, and pain.
  • The glutathione S-transferase (GST) family includes cytosolic, mitochondrial, and microsomal enzymes that catalyze the conjugation of GSH with endogenous and xenobiotic electrophiles. After detoxification by GSH conjugation catalyzed by GSTs, the body can eliminate potentially harmful and toxic compounds. GSTs are induced by Nrf2 activation and represent an important route of detoxification.
  • The UDP-glucuronosyltransferas (UGT) family catalyze the conjugation of a glucuronic acid moiety to a variety of endogenous and exogenous substances, making them more water soluble and readily excreted. Important substrates for glucuronidation include bilirubin, and acetaminophen. Nrf2 has been shown to induce UGT1A1 and UGT1A6.
  • Multidrug resistance-associated proteins  (Mrps) are important membrane transporters that efflux various compounds from various organs and into bile or plasma, with subsequent excretion in the feces or urine, respectively. Mrps have been shown to be upregulated by Nrf2 and alteration in their expression can dramatically alter the pharmacokinetics and toxicity of compounds.

NATURAL FOODS AND FOOD EXTRACTS PROMOTE THE EXPRESSION OF Nrf2

The March 2011 Epub Biochemical Basis for Functional Ingredient Design from Fruits reports: “Functional food ingredients (nutraceuticals) in fruits range from small molecular components, such as the secondary plant products, to macromolecular entities, e.g., pectin and cellulose, that provide several health benefits.  In fruits, the most visible functional ingredients are the color components anthocyanins and carotenoids.

“In addition, several other secondary plant products, including terpenes, show health beneficial activities.  A common feature of several functional ingredients is their antioxidant function. For example, reactive oxygen species (ROS) can be oxidized and stabilized by flavonoid components, and the flavonoid radical can undergo electron rearrangement stabilizing the flavonoid radical.  Compounds that possess an orthodihydroxy or quinone structure can interact with cellular proteins in the Keap1/Nrf2/ARE pathway to activate the transcription of antioxidant enzymes.

“Carotenoids and flavonoids can also exert their action by modulating the signal transduction and gene expression within the cell. Recent results suggest that these activities are primarily responsible for the health benefits associated with the consumption of fruits and vegetables.”

One of the interesting aspects of the extensive research that has been conducted is the fact that many of the polyphenols that have been shown to activate Nrf2 have been used in natural healing formulas for many years. For example, an article in a November 2010 production titled Nutraceutical antioxidants as novel neuroprotective agent expands on the classes of “antioxidant” compounds that are neuroprotective and operate either via direct antioxidant action or via the keap1-Nrf2 pathway:

“A variety of antioxidant compounds derived from natural products (nutraceuticals) have demonstrated neuroprotective activity in either in vitro or in vivo models of neuronal cell death or neurodegeneration, respectively. These natural antioxidants fall into several distinct groups based on their chemical structures: (1) flavonoid polyphenols like epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG) from green tea and quercetin from apples; (2) non-flavonoid polyphenols such as curcumin from tumeric and resveratrol from giant knotweed and grapes; (3) phenolic acids or phenolic diterpenes such as rosmarinic acid or carnosic acid, respectively, both from rosemary; and (4) organosulfur compounds including the isothiocyanate, L-sulforaphane, from broccoli and the thiosulfonate allicin, from garlic.

“All of these compounds are generally considered to be antioxidants.  They may be classified this way either because they directly scavenge free radicals or they indirectly increase endogenous cellular antioxidant defenses, for example, via activation of the nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) transcription factor pathway. Alternative mechanisms of action have also been suggested for the neuroprotective effects of these compounds such as modulation of signal transduction cascades or effects on gene expression. Here, we review the literature pertaining to these various classes of nutraceutical antioxidants and discuss their potential therapeutic value in neurodegenerative diseases.”

DIETARY FLAVONOIDS AS NRF2 ACTIVATORS

One of the ways dietary flavonoids work to confer their multiple health effects is via the keap1-Nrf2 pathway.  That is substances which are both themselves antioxidants and activators of the keap1-Nrf2 pathway produce significant results through keap1-Nrf2 and activating the body’s own antioxidant and defensive systems.

Flavonoids are a large family of polyphenolic compounds synthesized by plants. Many of the common dietary flavonoids are shown in Table 1 below along with their common food sources.

Table 1: Common Dietary Flavonoids

Flavonoid Subclass Dietary Flavonoids Some Common Food Sources
Anthocyanidins  Cyanidin, Delphinidin, Malvidin, Pelargonidin, Peonidin, Petunidin Red, blue, and purple berries; red and purple grapes; red wine
Flavonols  Monomers (Catechins) Catechin, Epicatechin, Epigallocatechin, Epicatechin gallate, Epigallocatecin gallate Dimers and Polymers: Theaflavins, Thearubigins, Proanthocyanidins Catechins: Teas (particularly green and white), chocolate, grapes, berries, apples Theaflavins, Thearubigins: Teas (particularly black and oolong) Proanthocyanidins: Chocolate, apples, berries, red grapes, red wine.
Flavanones Hesperetin, Naringenin, Eriodictyol Citrus fruits and juices, e.g., oranges, grapefruits, lemons.
Flavonols Quercetin, Kaempferol, Myricetin, Isorhamnetin Widely distributed: yellow onions, scallions, kale, broccoli, apples, berries, teas.
Flavones Apigenin, Luteolin Parsley, thyme, celery, hot peppers.
Isoflavones Daidzein, Genistein, Glycitein Soybeans, soy foods, legumes.

In addition to flavonoids many other plant based substances appear to produce health benefits through hormetic effects mediated by Nrf2.  The December 2011 publication Nutritional antioxidants and adaptive cell responses: an update reports: “Many plant antioxidants, intaken through the daily diet or plant-derived dietary supplements, have been shown able to prevent free radical-related diseases by counteracting cell oxidative stress. However, it is now considered that the in vivo beneficial effects of these phytochemicals are unlikely to be explained just by their antioxidant capability.

“Several plant antioxidants exhibit hormetic properties, by acting as ‘low-dose stressors’ that may prepare cells to resist more severe stress. In fact, low doses of these phytochemicals activate cell signaling pathways (being the most prominent examples the modulation of the Nrf2/Keap1 pathway, the NF-κB pathway and the Sirtuin-FOXO pathway) but high doses are cytotoxic.

“Herein we review the adaptive responses induced by the most known plant hormetic antioxidants, which are sulforaphane, resveratrol, curcumin, flavonoids, green tea catechins and diallylsulphides [in garlic], as well as the molecular mechanisms involved in such responses. Furthermore, this review outlines that the hormetic properties of these bioactive plant antioxidants might be successfully employed for realizing health-promoting dietary interventions especially in the field of neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.”

 

Ultimate Protector+

INTERESTING FACTS REGARDING NRF2 ACTIVATORS

1) An interesting fact is that Nrf2 is ubiquitously expressed with the highest concentrations (in descending order) in the kidney, muscle, lung, heart, liver, and brain. 

2) Another important fact is that the well-known nutrition supplement lipoic acid is a potent activator of Nrf2 and thus increases Gluthatione levels, which may explain its protective effect against diabetic co-morbidities. Additionally, the nutritional supplements tocotrienols (active forms of Vitamin E) and N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) are also effective Nrf2 activators!

3) We have observed that the natural plant substances with the highest ORAC5.0 values appear to be among the most effective Nrf2 activators. For example, see the table below. In particular, note that Curcumin (98%), Grape Seed Extract, Green Tea Extract, and Reservatrol which are commonly used for their excellent Nrf2 activator effects are the most powerful in-vitro antioxidants . Please note that Ultimate Protector+ is over 100% more powerful as an antioxidant than the best single plant ingredient.

TABLE 2: ORAC5.0™ COMPARATIVE RESULTS

Ingredient Peroxyl Radical Hydroxyl Radical Peroxy-nitrite Radical Super-
oxide Radical
Singlet O2 Radical Total ORAC5.0
Curcumin 98% 5,750 8,920 906 597 66,290 82,500
Bilberry 25% 7,000 25,000 1,000 16,000 5,000 54,000
Cocoa 10,000 28,000 1,000 11,000 2,000 52,000
Grape Seed Extract 17,000 47,000 1,000 25,000 4,000 94,000
Green Tea Extract 11,000 41,000 2,000 56,000 3,000 113,000
Coffee Berry Extract 5,000 29,000 1,000 1,000 2,000 38,000
Mangosteen 4,000 8,000 1,000 18,000 4,000 35,000
Pine Bark 7,000 23,000 1,000 17,000 2,000 50,000
Resveratrol 12,000 50,000 1,000 8,000 22,000 93,000
ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+    3,376    5,569 2,758 221,866 34,169 267,738
Results are expressed in micro mole TE/g

The total Ultimate Protector+ ORAC5.0 value per serving of 6 small vegetarian capsules (containing 3.55 g) is over 950,00 Micro mole TE.

4) Here is a list of the ingredients in ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+: USP-grade non-GMO Vitamin C, SFB® standardized fruit blend (~50% polyphenols, high-ORAC powder: 9,000 µmole TE/g) from Grape, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Apple, Mangosteen, Bilberry, Chokeberry, and Goji Berry), Curcumin (standardized extract with 95% curcuminoids), Trans-Resveratrol (98% from Giant Knotweed), Green Tea Extract (93% polyphenols, 50% EGCG), VinCare® Whole Grape Extract (>80% polyphenols, ORAC>19,000 µmole TE/g), Calcium Malate, Magnesium Malate, and Bioperine® (a patented black pepper extract that enhances absorption of all ingredients and is a known Nrf2 activator).

NEUROPROTECTION BY POLYPHENOL STIMULATION OF THE NRF2 / ARE PATHWAY 

Below are two abstracts that discuss how modulation of the Nrf2/ARE pathway by food polyphenols can provide neuroprotection through the activation of the heme-oxygenase enzyme.

Modulation of Nrf2/ARE pathway by food polyphenols: a nutritional neuroprotective strategy for cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders. (Oct. 2011)

ABSTRACT

In recent years, there has been a growing interest, supported by a large number of experimental and epidemiological studies, for the beneficial effects of some phenolic substances, contained in commonly used spices and herbs, in preventing various age-related pathologic conditions, ranging from cancer to neurodegenerative diseases. Although the exact mechanisms by which polyphenols promote these effects remain to be elucidated, several reports have shown their ability to stimulate a general xenobiotic response in the target cells, activating multiple defense genes.

Data from our and other laboratories have previously demonstrated that curcumin, the yellow pigment of curry, strongly induces heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression and activity in different brain cells via the activation of heterodimers of NF-E2-related factors 2 (Nrf2)/antioxidant responsive element (ARE) pathway. Many studies clearly demonstrate that activation of Nrf2 target genes, and particularly HO-1, in astrocytes and neurons is strongly protective against inflammation, oxidative damage, and cell death. In the central nervous system, the HO system has been reported to be very active, and its modulation seems to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders.

Recent and unpublished data from our group revealed that low concentrations of epigallocatechin-3-gallate, the major green tea catechin, induces HO-1 by ARE/Nrf2 pathway in hippocampal neurons, and by this induction, it is able to protect neurons against different models of oxidative damages. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that other phenolics, such as caffeic acid phenethyl ester and ethyl ferulate, are also able to protect neurons via HO-1 induction. These studies identify a novel class of compounds that could be used for therapeutic purposes as preventive agents against cognitive decline.

The major green tea polyphenol, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate, induces heme oxygenase in rat neurons and acts as an effective neuroprotective agent against oxidative stress. (Aug. 2009)

ABSTRACT

Oxidative stress induced by hyperglycemia is a key factor in the pathogenesis of diabetic complications, such as neuropathy. Recently, green tea catechins have received much attention, as they can facilitate a number of antioxidative mechanisms and improve glycemic control. The aim of this study was to investigate the cytoprotective effects of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) against oxidative stress damage in a cell line of rat neurons. The role of heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) induction by EGCG and the transcriptional mechanisms involved were also evaluated.

Immortalized rat neurons (H 19-7) were exposed to various concentrations of EGCG (10-200 microM). After treatments (6 or 24 hours), cells were harvested for the determination of heme oxygenase activity, mRNA levels, and protein expression. Nuclear levels of Nrf2, a transcriptional factor involved in HO-1 activation, were also measured. Neurons were pretreated for 12 hours with EGCG 50 microM or EGCG 50 microM + zinc protoporphyrin IX 10 microM and then exposed for 2 hours to 50 mmicro/mL glucose-oxidase before cell viability was determined.

In cultured neurons, elevated expression of HO-1 mRNA and protein were detected after 6 hours of incubation with 25-100 microM EGCG, and its induction relates with the activation of Nrf2. Interestingly, pre-incubation (12 hours) with EGCG 50 microM resulted in an enhanced cellular resistance to glucose oxidase-mediated oxidative damage; this cytoprotective effect was considerably attenuated by zinc protoporphyrin IX, an inhibitor of heme oxygenase activity.

In this study, we demonstrated that EGCG, the major green tea catechin, induced HO-1 expression in cultured neurons, possibly by activation of the transcription factor Nrf2, and by this mechanism was able to protect against oxidative stress-induced cell death.

 

The following review article abstract shows how natural products containing Nrf2 activator/antioxidant ingredients might be used to support health and anti-aging.

Nrf2/ARE Signaling Pathway: Key Mediator in Oxidative Stress and Potential Therapeutic Target in ALS (July 2012)

REVIEW ARTICLE

Abstract: Nrf2 (nuclear erythroid 2-related factor 2) is a basic region leucine-zipper transcription factor which binds to the antioxidant response element (ARE) and thereby regulates the expression of a large battery of genes involved in the cellular antioxidant and anti-inflammatory defence as well as mitochondrial protection. As oxidative stress, inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunctions have been identified as important pathomechanisms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), this signaling cascade has gained interest both with respect to ALS pathogenesis and therapy. Nrf2 and Keap1 expressions are reduced in motor neurons in postmortem ALS tissue.

Nrf2-activating compounds have shown therapeutic efficacy in the ALS mouse model and other neurodegenerative disease models. Alterations in Nrf2 and Keap1 expression and dysregulation of the Nrf2/ARE signalling program could contribute to the chronic motor neuron degeneration in ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, Nrf2 emerges as a key neuroprotective molecule in neurodegenerative diseases.

Our recent studies strongly support that the Nrf2/ARE signalling pathway is an important mediator of neuroprotection and therefore represents a promising target for development of novel therapies against ALS, Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Simultaneous blockage of disease-specific broad toxic signaling cascades in motor neurons and glia may ultimately lead to more efficient neuroprotection in ALS. Stimulation of defense mechanisms that modulate neuroprotective genes which affect both neuronal and glial functions is a novel therapeutic approach and holds great promise. A key molecule to affect a variety of defense mechanisms is the transcription factor Nrf2 which activates the Nrf2/ARE signaling program. Nrf2 acts as master regulator of the cellular antioxidant response by stimulation of over 250 phase II genes that should be referred to as “prolife genes” since they save cells from death.

Nrf2 activation can at once regulate the expression of multiple cytoprotective enzymes that are capable of simultaneous inhibition of major pathogenic pathways described in ALS such as oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Decreased Nrf2 expression was found in motor neurons in ALS postmortem brain and spinal cord. We have established the proof-of-concept that the Nrf2/ARE program is a viable target with excellent therapeutic potential for ALS. While there are still multiple gaps of knowledge on the path from Nrf2 dissociation to nuclear localization and its action as transcription factor, activation of the Nrf2 signaling cascade represents a novel and unique attempt to find a cure for ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases by fortifying the intrinsic defense mechanisms of neurons.

CONCLUSION

In this article I have shown how foods such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, and their extracts can stimulate extremely powerful protective enzymes in the body that work to keep us healthy. I strongly suggest that our readers eat an organic diet that emphasizes these foods and highly recommend the use of nutritional supplements such as Ultimate Protector+ and PRO-C™ that can further support the activation of the Nrf2 pathways in the body!

SOURCES

BLOG ARTICLES

 SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES

 

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ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+ INGREDIENTS – GREEN TEA EXTRACT

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD biography about us HPDI integratedhealth formulator founder CEO scientist physicist wild bilberry and wild blueberry Ultimate Protector+ includes green tea extract, as well as extracts from 12 different fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Each of these ingredients contain substances that may be considered to be polyphenols, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators. In this article, I explore the ingredient green tea extract. Green tea extract is added as a separate ingredient in Ultimate Protector+.

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Green Tea Extract

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract (high in EGCG) is obtained from the unfermented leaves of Camellia sinensis for which numerous biological activities have been reported including: antimutagenic, antibacterial, hypocholesterolemic, antioxidant, and protective against tumorigenesis.

The green tea extract in Ultimate Protector+ has been extracted with non-GMO food grade ethanol and distilled water. Testing has indicated the product over 93% polyphenols, over 50% EGCG, and about 4% caffeine.

Bioactive Compounds in Tea
Tea contains over 2,000 components, including polyphenols (flavonoids), pigments (carotenoids and chlorophyll), alkaloids (caffeine, theophylline, theobromine), lignans, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, amino acids (including L-theanine), vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin E, riboflavin), and various minerals and trace elements.

Flavonoids in Green Tea
Dietary flavonoids are divided in six subclasses: flavan-3-ols, anthocyanidins, flavanones, flavonols, flavones, and isoflavones. Total flavonoid content in green tea is about 138 mg a per 100 mL. A major subclass of flavonoids in green tea is that of flavan-3-ols. Flavan-3-ol monomers, also known as catechins, constitute 30%-42% of the solid weight of brewed green tea. The principal catechins found in tea are (-)-epicatechin (EC), (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC), (-)-epicatechin gallate (ECG), and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) is one of the most powerful compounds in green tea. It has been studied to treat various diseases and may be one of the main reasons green tea has such powerful medicinal properties

Vitamins and Minerals Found in Green Tea

Green Tea Plant

GREEN TEA STUDIES

Below we provide information from several research articles that highlight some of the potential health effects of green tea extracts.

1. EGCG upregulates phase-2 detoxifying and antioxidant enzymes via the Nrf2 signaling pathway in human breast epithelial cells

Hye-Kyung Na and Young-Joon Surh
Proc Amer Assoc Cancer Res, Volume 46, 2005
From: http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/65/9_Supplement/367.1

Abstract

There are multiple lines of compelling evidence from epidemiologic and laboratory studies supporting that frequent consumption of green tea is inversely associated with the risk of several types of human cancer and other chronic diseases. The chemopreventive and chemoprotective activity of green tea have been attributed to the polyphenolic ingredient (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Oxidative DNA damage has been implicated in initiation of carcinogenesis. The induction of phase-2 detoxifying or antioxidant defense enzymes contributes to the cancer chemopreventive and cytoprotective effects of many phytochemicals against oxidative stress. Here, we report that treatment of human breast epithelial (MCF10A) cells with EGCG induces the mRNA expression of both modulatory and catalytic subunits of γ-glutamate-cystein ligase (GCL), which is the rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of GSH. In addition, EGCG upregulated the expression of other antioxidant enzymes, including manganese superoxide dismutase and glutathione S-transferase π in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. NF-E2-related factor (Nrf2), a basic-leucine zipper transcription factor, has been reported to regulate the antioxidant/electrophile responsive elements (ARE/EpRE)-mediated expression of various phase-2 detoxifying or antioxidant enzymes. The nuclear accumulation and ARE/EpRE binding of Nrf2 were increased in EGCG-treated MCF10A cells. Moreover, MCF10A cells transfected with the luciferase reporter gene under the control of ARE/EpRE-driven promoter exhibited a strong transcriptional activity following exposure to EGCG. In contrast, mutation of the GC core box in the ARE/EpRE-driven promoter abolished the EGCG-induced transcriptional activity. MCF10A cells transiently transfected with dominant negative Nrf-2 were less responsive to EGCG-induced expression of GCLC mRNA compared to the vector-transfected control cells. Furthermore, EGCG treatment activated the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase1/2 and Akt through phosphorylation. These findings, taken together, suggest that induction of antioxidant enzymes by EGCG can be mediated by activation of Nrf2 and possibly upstream signaling kinases, which may provide the cells with acquired antioxidant defense capacity against oxidative insult.

2. Neurological mechanisms of green tea polyphenols in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases

The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Volume 15, Issue 9, September 2004, Pages 506-516
OrlyWeinreba, SilviaMandela, TamarAmitaMoussa, B.H.Youdima
From: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2004.05.002

Abstract
Tea consumption is varying its status from a mere ancient beverage and a lifestyle habit, to a nutrient endowed with possible prospective neurobiological–pharmacological actions beneficial to human health. Accumulating evidence suggest that oxidative stress resulting in reactive oxygen species generation and inflammation play a pivotal role in neurodegenerative diseases, supporting the implementation of radical scavengers, transition metal (e.g., iron and copper) chelators, and nonvitamin natural antioxidant polyphenols in the clinic. These observations are in line with the current view that polyphenolic dietary supplementation may have an impact on cognitive deficits in individuals of advanced age. As a consequence, green tea polyphenols are now being considered as therapeutic agents in well controlled epidemiological studies, aimed to alter brain aging processes and to serve as possible neuroprotective agents in progressive neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. In particular, literature on the putative novel neuroprotective mechanism of the major green tea polyphenol, (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), are examined and discussed in this review.

3. Renoprotective effects of (+)-catechin in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat model

Abstract
Diabetic nephropathy is a complication of diabetes mellitus leading to end-stage renal disease. Oxidative stress and inflammation play a major role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. Green tea, known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, has been shown to be renoprotective. We hypothesized that (+)-catechin (CTN), a component of green tea, is responsible for the renoprotection. Our investigation of the therapeutic potential of CTN in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats demonstrated for the first time that the effects of CTN treatment were comparable with the effects of an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEi) enalapril for the treatment of albumin excretion. After 12 weeks of CTN treatment with 35 mg/d in the drinking water, urinary albumin excretion and plasma creatinine concentrations in all the diabetic treatment groups were reduced, compared with the diabetic group with no treatment. Urine creatinine and creatinine clearance were higher in diabetic groups treated with CTN and ACEi compared with the diabetic group with no treatment. Endothelin 1, lipid peroxidation, concentration of alanine transferase enzyme, and expression of fibronectin were lower in all the treatment groups compared with the diabetic group with no treatment. Concentrations of free thiols were higher in the CTN-treated group compared with the diabetic rats with no treatment. Our findings suggest that CTN has renoprotective properties comparable with ACEi, and coadministration of CTN and enalapril might be useful in reducing albumin excretion as well as improving endothelial function. (+)-Catechin might be successfully used in the future for clinical situations where ACEi is poorly tolerated or contraindicated.

4. Green Tea Polyphenol (−)-Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Restores Nrf2 Activity and Ameliorates Crescentic Glomerulonephritis

published: March 18, 2015https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0119543
Ting Ye , Junhui Zhen , Yong Du , Jason K. Zhou, Ai Peng, Nosratola D. Vaziri, Chandra Mohan , Yan Xu , Xin J. Zhou
From: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0119543

Abstract
Crescentic glomerulonephritis (GN) is the most severe form of GN and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality despite aggressive immunotherapy with steroids, cytotoxic drugs, and plasmapheresis. We examined the therapeutic efficacy of the green tea polyphenol (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG, 50 mg/kg BW/day x3weeks), a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agent, on experimental crescentic GN induced in 129/svJ mice by administration of rabbit anti-mouse glomerular basement membrane sera. Routine histology and key molecules involved in inflammatory and redox signaling were studied. EGCG treatment significantly reduced mortality, decreased proteinuria and serum creatinine, and markedly improved renal histology when compared with vehicle-treated mice. The improvements in renal function and histology were accompanied by the restoration of Nrf2 signaling (which was impaired in vehicle-treated mice) as shown by increased nuclear translocation of Nrf2 and cytoplasmic glutamate cysteine ligase catalytic subunit, glutamate cysteine ligase modifier subunit, and glutathione peroxidase. EGCG-treated mice also showed reduction in p-Akt, p-JNK, p-ERK1/2 and p-P38 as well as restoration of PPARγ and SIRT1 levels. Lower dose of EGCG (25 mg/kg BW/day x2 weeks) treatment also significantly decreased proteinuria and serum creatinine, and markedly improved renal histology when compared with vehicle-treated mice. Thus, our data illustrate the efficacy of EGCG in reversing the progression of crescentic GN in mice by targeting multiple signaling and inflammatory pathways as well as countering oxidative stress.

SUMMARY

Green Tea Extract is an exciting natural ingredient full of important polyphenols, catechins, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators that help to make Ultimate Protector such an outstanding nutritional supplement. Continued research shows an amazing list of health benefits for this substance including its ability to function as a powerful stimulator of Nrf2 activity. It truly belongs in the Ultimate Protector+™ formula.