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Phytother Res. 2019 Apr;33(4):1019-1026. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6295. Epub 2019 Feb 11.

Coadministration of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and caffeine in low dose ameliorates obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in obese rats.

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National Research Center of Engineering Technology for Utilization of Functional Ingredients from Botanicals, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, China.
Collaborative Innovation Centre of Utilization of Functional Ingredients from Botanicals, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, China.
Key Laboratory of Tea Science of Ministry of Education, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, China.


Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and caffeine in tea exert anti-obesity effects and induces nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) amelioration. However, previous studies usually performed a high-dose EGCG administration, whereas the insecurity was arisen in recent researches. In this study, we treated obese rats with an elaborate dose-40 mg/kg EGCG, 20 mg/kg caffeine, and the coadministration of them as low dose, which were similar to the daily intake; 160 mg/kg EGCG as high dose, which was the maximum safe dose had touched the contentious edge. The results suggested that the coadministration of EGCG and caffeine exerted more remarkable function on suppressing body weight gain, reducing white adipose tissue weight and decreasing the energy intake than single use. This may be due to the variation in serum lipid profile, oxidative stress, and adipose-derived and inflammatory cytokines. The pathological micrographs showed long-term high-fat diets caused severe NAFLD, but it was ameliorated at different levels by all of the administrations. In summary, low dose of EGCG or caffeine only showed a mild effect of anti-obesity and NAFLD amelioration. The coadministration of them could exert a superior curative effect as well as high dose EGCG but no anxiety regarding safety.


EGCG; caffeine; epigallocatechin-3-gallate; green tea; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; obesity


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