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A researcher at Georgia Regents University has developed moisturizing lozenges for dry mouth.
Dr. Stephen Hsu, Professor of Oral Biology in the GRU College of Dental Medicine, has created MighTeaFlow® lozenges with a clinically tested all-natural green tea formula with xylitol to treat dry mouth, adding to his growing line of green tea products. The lozenges contain the green tea compound EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), which Hsu's research demonstrated can protect salivary glands and prevent or delay symptoms of dry mouth, which affects up to half of all elderly adults in the United States. An abnormal reduction in salivary flow can be acutely uncomfortable and cause opportunistic infections.
Dr. Scott DeRossi, Chairman of Oral Health & Diagnostic Sciences, tested the new green tea lozenges on patients with dry mouth. Hsu's decades-long research has shown that green tea compounds are safe and have multiple overall health benefits. Hsu studied Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that damages the salivary and lacrimal glands, which produce saliva and tears. He theorizes that "prior to any immune involvement, the cells in the glands appear off-balance and unable to normally repair themselves, which reduces their ability to control the free radicals that cause damage." Green tea's natural antioxidants appear to help counter that. Hsu's work was published last year in the Journal of Autoimmunity.
That finding could change the way scientists think about autoimmune diseases.
"This gives us new evidence to support our theory that the immune system involvement is a later responder," Hsu said. "It's not the cause of autoimmune disease. This is so different from the existing dogma. We propose that a defect or abnormality in the mitochondria, or cell powerhouse, may serve as an initial trigger for some autoimmune diseases, such as Sjogren's syndrome and type 1 diabetes."
The observations could lead to early diagnosis and intervention of autoimmune diseases, Hsu said.
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
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21 Apr. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/270491>
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