Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a frequent muscular disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding dystrophin, a cytoskeletal protein that contributes to the stabilization of muscle fiber membrane during muscle activity. Affected individuals show progressive muscle wasting that generally causes death by age 30. In this study, the dystrophic mdx(5Cv) mouse model was used to investigate the effects of green tea extract, its major component (-)-epigallocatechin gallate, and pentoxifylline on dystrophic muscle quality and function. Three-week-old mdx(5Cv) mice were fed for either 1 or 5 wk a control chow or a chow containing the test substances. Histological examination showed a delay in necrosis of the extensor digitorum longus muscle in treated mice. Mechanical properties of triceps surae muscles were recorded while the mice were under deep anesthesia. Phasic and tetanic tensions of treated mice were increased, reaching values close to those of normal mice. The phasic-to-tetanic tension ratio was corrected. Finally, muscles from treated mice exhibited 30-50% more residual force in a fatigue assay. These results demonstrate that diet supplementation of dystrophic mdx(5Cv) mice with green tea extract or (-)-epigallocatechin gallate protected muscle against the first massive wave of necrosis and stimulated muscle adaptation toward a stronger and more resistant phenotype.