Down syndrome children have several characteristic features and one of them is facial dysmorphism. A team of researchers from Spain and Belgium conducted a study to reduce the appearance of dysmorphism in these children. In this study, the researchers looked at the benefits of green tea supplements for these children.
The findings of this study appeared recently in the journal Scientific Reports.
According to this study, green tea extracts used in the first three years of life can benefit children with this disorder. These supplements can reduce the dysmorphism in the facial structure over time. Moreover, the researchers conducted these experiments in mice which showed that the low doses of these extracts give positive outcomes. Meanwhile, the high dosage can lead to negative effects such as disrupt bone development and facial structure.
The researchers suggest that further research will explain the working and effects of these supplements. However, these extracts should only be taken after considering a health care professional.
Down syndrome is a commonly found disorder due to disruption in one of the chromosomes, the genetic components. As a result of this syndrome, a gene called DYRK1A causes an alteration in the development of bones and the brain. The compound found in green tea called EGCG or epigallocatechin-3-gallate can inhibit the activity of this gene. Meanwhile, this compound serves other purposes in the body as well. This compound can also improve the cognitive ability of people with Down Syndrome.
In this latest study, the researchers particularly considered the effect of the green tea compound on facial features development. The researchers gave different doses of this extract to mine in the lab. Later, they also observed children who have and do not have this syndrome.
In the experimental part of this research, the scientists supplemented the mice with the compound before birth. They added a high dose of this extract to the drinking water of the mothers. According to the researchers, this small dosage helped in the normal development of facial features of these mice. Meanwhile, the group with a high dose of green tea extract showed different results. The high dose of this compound caused additional dysmorphism in the facial features of mice with and without Down syndrome.
According to the researchers, further studies will prove the benefits of this compound for Down Syndrome children. Meanwhile, they should handle these findings with care and add more data to this study. They will conduct further experiments to observe the potential benefits of this extract and its side effects. Also, they will determine the right dosage to show maximum benefits without any negative effects.
The researchers also mentioned that they need to look into the effect of this compound on other organs of the body as well. For now, they only observed the facial features under the effect of the extract. However, this requires more participants in a lab setting with a controlled dosage of the extract. If proven effective, this can provide a huge benefit to the children who live with this syndrome.