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Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2015;16(3):265-71.

Exploring the nutraceutical potential of polyphenols from black, green and white tea infusions - an overview.

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Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Via D. Montesano 49, 80131 Napoli, Italy.


Black, green, and white teas are the main commercial teas obtained from buds and leaves of Camellia sinensis (L.). The postharvest processing treatments, together with genotype and growing techniques, may strongly affect the chemical composition of the tea infusion and, thereby, its potential effects on health. Catechins constituted up to 30% of tea leaves dry weight. During fermentation, polyphenols undergo enzymatic oxidation, leading to the formation of condensed polymeric compounds regarded as responsible for the typical organoleptic properties of black tea leaves and related infusions. Scientific studies has been recently focusing on the possibility that tea polyphenols, particularly those of black and green tea, may lead to healthy properties in individuals affected by diseases correlated to metabolic syndrome. In vivo experiments reveal that green and black tea polyphenols may be able to reduce hyperglycemia and insulin resistance. Other works suggest that black tea polymeric products may be effective in decreasing blood cholesterol levels and hypertriacylglycerolemia. To this regard, very few data about white tea, being the rarest and the least handled tea, are available so far. It has been reported that white tea could show higher antioxidative capacity than green tea and to exert in vitro lipolytic activity. Considering the increasing interest towards healthy potential through diet and natural medicaments, the aim of the present review was to overview the nutraceutical potential of polyphenols from tea after various degrees of fermentation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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