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Phytomedicine. 2011 Aug 15;18(11):903-15. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2011.06.006. Epub 2011 Jul 30.

Consumption of green tea or green tea products: is there an evidence for antioxidant effects from controlled interventional studies?

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Department of Nutrition and Food Science-Nutritional Physiology, University of Bonn, D-53115 Bonn, Germany.



Epidemiological data suggest that green tea (GT) consumption may protect against cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and different types of cancer. This effect is attributed primarily to the antioxidant properties of flavanols from GT. This review provides an overview of controlled intervention studies investigating the effect of GT consumption on antioxidant effects ex vivo and in vivo.


The Medline and Cochrane databases were searched independently by two investigators for controlled intervention studies (English) on GT consumption and antioxidant effects published up to June 2010. Thirty-one studies investigating antioxidant effects ex vivo [plasma antioxidant capacity (AC), DNA's resistance against oxidative induced damage) or in vivo (lipid and protein oxidation, DNA damage] met the criteria. Results were compared by considering the participants, the dose of GT, the amount of ingested flavanols, the duration of supplementation and the investigated biomarkers.


The comparison between the studies was difficult as relevant data, e.g., on flavanol concentration in plasma (10 of 31 studies) or on major antioxidants contributing to AC, were often missing. Lipid peroxidation and DNA damage were commonly investigated. Data on protein oxidation are scarce. An antioxidant effect of at least one parameter (increase in AC or reduction of oxidative stress marker) was observed in 15 out of 22 studies by daily consumption of GT, primarily in participants exposed to oxidative stress (smokers or mixed collectives of smokers and non-smokers and physical activity) and in 6 out of 9 studies investigating the bolus consumption of GT.


There is limited evidence that regular consumption of GT in amounts of at least 0.6-1.5 l/day may increase AC and reduce lipid peroxidation (especially oxidation of LDL). This may contribute to the protection against CVDs and different types of cancer. Beneficial effects seem to be more likely in participants exposed to oxidative challenge.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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