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Lipids. 2005 Aug;40(8):849-53.

Antioxidant activity of various teas against free radicals and LDL oxidation.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, National Defense Medical College, Tokorozawa, Saitama.


Tea is a widely consumed beverage throughout the world. We assessed the antioxidant activity of six teas, including the aqueous extracts of green tea and oolong tea (Camellia sinensis), tochu (Eucommia ulmoides), Gymnema sylvestre, Japanese mugwort (Artemisia princeps), and barley (Hordeum vulgare), against 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals and LDL oxidation, and examined the association of LDL oxidizability with the plasma catechin levels in 10 healthy volunteers with a single dose of 5 g green tea powder. In vitro, the inhibitory effects of DPPH radicals and LDL oxidation were found to be strongest in the extract of green tea and weakest in that of barley. After the ingestion of green tea powder, the lag time increased from basal 52.2 +/- 4.1 to 60.3 +/- 4.2 min at 1 h and 59.5 +/- 4.1 min at 2 h, and then returned to the baseline lag time (51.9 +/- 1.4 at 4 h and 52.1 +/- 4.7 min at 6 h). Regarding the plasma catechin levels, epigallocatechingallate and epicatechingallate significantly increased from basal 3.7 +/- 1.3 and 0.8 +/- 0.8 ng/mL to 65.7 +/- 11.6 and 54.6 +/- 12.6 ng/mL at 1 h, and 74.4 +/- 18.6 and 49.4 +/- 7.1 ng/mL at 2 h, respectively. Green tea therefore showed the strongest antioxidant activity among the six different teas, and the inhibitory effects of green tea on LDL oxidation depended on the plasma catechin levels.

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