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J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Dec 29;52(26):8169-76.

Effects of pu-erh tea on oxidative damage and nitric oxide scavenging.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, 60 Erh-Jen Road, Section 1, Pao-An, Jen-te Hsiang, Tainan Hsien, Taiwan.


The effects of pu-erh tea, which is prepared by fermentation of tea, on oxidative damage and nitric oxide scavenging, compared with various other brands of tea were investigated. The total antioxidant activity was determined using the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) assay. The results showed that TEAC values of the 200 microg/mL water extracts of pu-erh tea (WEPT), green tea, oolong tea, and black tea were 86.3, 85.3, 87.4, and 80.3 (microg/mL), respectively, indicating that WEPT showed a significant antioxidant activity. WEPT, like green tea extract, oolong tea extract, and black tea extract, exhibited a remarkable protective effect in lipid (liposome) and nonlipid (protein and deoxyribose) model systems, implying that it is an inhibitor of lipid and nonlipid oxidative damage. It also exhibited metal-binding ability, reducing power, and scavenging effect for free radicals. Moreover, WEPT showed a decreasing effect on nitric oxide production of lipopolysaccharide-induced RAW 264.7 macrophages. In addition, the results revealed that epicatechin (EC), flavonoid, ascorbic acid, and polyphenolic compounds are present in WEPT, which may partially account for the protective effect on oxidative damage. Thus, WEPT may have potential as an antioxidant and as a nitric oxide scavenging agent.

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