Catechins enhance skeletal muscle performance

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2020;60(3):515-528. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1549534. Epub 2019 Jan 11.


Muscle-related disorders, such as sarcopenia and cachexia, caused by aging and chronic diseases can lead to the loss of muscle mass and strength to different degrees, severely affecting human health. Globally, tea is one of the three most popular beverages, and its major active ingredient catechins have been reported to delay muscular atrophy and enhance movement. However, currently, there is no systematic review to elaborate its roles and the associated mechanisms. This article reviews the (1) functions and mechanisms of catechins in the differentiation of myogenic stem cells, biogenesis of mitochondria, synthesis and degradation of proteins, regulation of glucose level, and metabolism of lipids in muscle cells; and (2) effect of catechins on the blood vessels, bones, and nerves that are closely related to the skeletal muscles. Catechins could prevent, mitigate, delay, and even treat muscle-related disorders caused by aging and diseases.

Keywords: Catechin; metabolism; mitochondrial; muscle atrophy; skeletal muscle.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Catechin / metabolism*
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • Catechin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Sarcopenia / drug therapy
  • Sarcopenia / pathology
  • Sarcopenia / physiopathology


  • Catechin