The Potential of Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) as Complementary Medicine for the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Complementary and alternative medicine has the potential to enrich conventional therapy to improve the treatment of various diseases. Patients that suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, which requires a constant need for medication, have to deal with the adverse effects of repeated application. Natural products such as Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) possess the potential to improve symptoms of inflammatory diseases. We investigated the efficacy of EGCG on an inflamed co-culture model simulating IBD and compared it to the efficacies of four commonly applied active pharmaceutical ingredients. EGCG (200 µg/mL) strongly stabilized the TEER value of the inflamed epithelial barrier to 165.7 ± 4.6% after 4 h. Moreover, the full barrier integrity was maintained even after 48 h. This corresponds to the immunosuppressant 6-Mercaptopurin and the biological drug Infliximab. The EGCG treatment significantly decreased the release of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 (to 0%) and IL-8 (to 14.2%), similar to the effect of the corticosteroid Prednisolone. Therefore, EGCG has a high potential to be deployed as complementary medicine in IBD. In future studies, the improvement of EGCG stability is a key factor in increasing the bioavailability in vivo and fully harnessing the health-improving effects of EGCG.