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Hum Exp Toxicol. 2011 Aug;30(8):884-96. doi: 10.1177/0960327110382563. Epub 2010 Aug 27.

Effect of different doses of un-fractionated green and black tea extracts on thyroid physiology.

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Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology Laboratory, Department of Physiology, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.


Tea is a rich source of polyphenolic flavonoids including catechins, which are thought to contribute to the health benefits of it. Flavonoids have been reported to have antithyroid and goitrogenic effect. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether high doses of green and black tea have a harmful effect on thyroid physiology. Un-fractionated green and black tea extracts were administered orally to male rats for 30 days at doses of 1.25 g%, 2.5 g% and 5.0 g%. The results showed that green tea extract at 2.5 g% and 5.0 g% doses and black tea extract only at 5.0 g% dose have the potential to alter the thyroid gland physiology and architecture, that is, enlargement of thyroid gland as well as hypertrophy and/or hyperplasia of the thyroid follicles and inhibition of the activity of thyroid peroxidase and 5(')-deiodinase I with elevated thyroidal Na+, K+-ATPase activity along with significant decrease in serum T3 and T4, and a parallel increase in serum thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). This study concludes that goitrogenic/antithyroidal potential of un-fractionated green tea extract is much more than black tea extract because of the differences in catechin contents in the tea extracts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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