Künstler: Alexander Raymond, Fragment aus "Sopor", 1995, 120x140 cm
EGCG | Details of my illness | Hunstein | Publications | Impressum



Prof. Dr. med. Werner Hunstein


Deutsche Fassung

Letter to the Amyloid Center Heidelberg


22th of July, 2011

Dear Collegues from the Amyloid Center Heidelberg,

One of your patients, Mr. H.-H. W., sent me a letter of thanks with a medical summary detailing his experiences after having read about my successful treatment with green tea (gT) and how he went through an almost "explosive" change for the better in his health. He wrote: "I've found my lust for life again and am happy for every day that I have left. I can walk more than 20-30 steps again, climb stairs, and eat normally." He is one of many fellow patients with similar experiences who have shared these with me.

In reading his letter, I was relieved that you no longer warn against taking gT or gT extracts, as you had in the past, but rather even "recommend" it. This patient had asked you about it in the past.

Therefore, I would like to inform you about the newest developments in EGCG therapy, especially relating to the further optimized conditions for ingestion. There are six observations I would like to inform you of:

1. EGCG is unstable and is quickly oxidized upon contact with oxygen in the air. This can be controlled with the use of vitamin C (Ferruzzi et al., 2007). This phenomenon can also be observed when blood samples are taken for measurement of plasma levels.

2. EGCG is poorly absorbed but this can be improved with black pepper extract or piperine (also a food additive) (Altland, Schreiner & Hunstein, 2009); a ten-fold increase can be achieved with omega-3 fish oil. This was observed in a study on mice (Shirai, N. & Suzuki, H., 2008) that Dr. Mereles told me about, and I tried it successfully on myself. Dr. Derliz Mereles is a specialist on the earlier and most recent literature on EGCG, and I am eternally thankful for his assistance, information, and support.

3. Due to the undefined, irregular uptake conditions, it is ABSOLUTLY NECESSARY to determine EGCG plasma levels repeatedly in patients taking gT total extract capsules or EGCG gT pure extract. These examinations had been offered to you for free by a private medical laboratory in Heidelberg.

In my case, the plasma levels increased with these measures from 80-100 µg/L (maximally 200) to 1160, 882 and 872 µg/L (!), and this happened in spite of the known loss due to the peritoneal dialysis treatments for uraemia that I was undergoing at home during the night. My free light chains (FLC) varied between 120 mg % for lambda and 80 mg % for kappa; the quotient k/l was between 0.6 and 0.8.

4. The mechanism of action of EGCG on the formation of amyloid has been described by Dagmar Ehrnhoefer et al. in 2008 in Nature and was even accompanied by a commentary with an explanatory scheme. Therefore, the statement at the end of your letter to your patient H.-H. W., in which you mention that there is evidence that the regular intake of ECGC reduces amyloid deposits, is superfluous. The marked reduction in my substantially thickened tongue, the improvement in my garbled speech that had been due to amyloid deposits, and the measurable decrease in the thickness of my cardiac interventricular septum (determined with thanks to Dr. Mereles) are for me clear signs that EGCG MUST be responsible for breaking down amyloid!

No one believed me about these effects and the medical community viewed me as an eccentric.

5. An investigation that I had rather playfully initiated at the Pette Insitute in Hamburg with Ilona Hauber et al. (PNAS, 2008) showed for the first time that EGCG does degrade amyloid. Persuasive electron micrographs and two color photographs concerning these results can be found in the attachment on the theme "How does EGCG interfere with the mechanism of amyloid formation?" by Jan Bieschke at my website: http://www.hunstein-egcg.de.

6. A precise analysis of amyloid degradation by EGCG was published in 2010 in PNAS by J. Bieschke et al. You know Dr. Bieschke personally - he is a member of the Wanker group at the Delbrück Center in Berlin-Buch. E.E. Wanker had made a presentation about the effects of EGCG on amyloid formation on Sept. 6, 2006, just following the completion of my 14th Palladini cycle, which had had, as usual, only a short-lasting effect. In searching for a substance to be used in treatment of Alzheimer's disease, his group had analyzed 18,000 different substances, which led to the discovery of EGCG. This was called to my attention by my physician Dr. Antonio Pezzutto, who is now at the Charité Berlin, and I followed his advice after a telephone call on Sept. 7th and began immediately with 2 L gT per day, as gT was known to be especially rich in EGCG. Since the end of August, 2006, I have been managing without any further chemotherapy, at the beginning by drinking large amounts of gT until it was like "tea-boarding" for me, a traditional coffee drinker, and then later by taking EGCG pure extract; therefore, it has been 4 years and 11 months (with an apparent life expectancy of about 6 months at that time).

In the meantime, "my" method has been recognized by Giampaolo Merlini, the Italian pope of amyloidosis, a biochemist in Pavia. (He gave me the honorary title of "Father of the application of EGCG in the treatment of amyloidosis" at an international myeloma congress in Budapest last year.)

That gives me hope for the future, in spite of my 83 years, and we should all make every effort to promote EGCG from a dietary supplement to a pharmaceutical! Only with parenteral administration can 20- to 25-fold higher plasma levels be reached compared to that which may be attained via oral intake with all the tricks, as described by Shammas et al. (Blood, 2006) for cytotoxic effects, e.g. as those required for human plasmocytoma cells in animal experiments.

If there are any further questions, Dr. Mereles and I are happy to help you and all amyloid researchers.

Thank you for your understanding, and I wish you success with your newly beginning or ongoing studies.

With best regards,

W. Hunstein

"mens enim et ratio et consilium in senibus est": M.T. Cicero in "Cato Maior De Senectude". 45 a.Ch.
(Among the aged can be found understanding, reason, and wisdom)