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J Chromatogr B Biomed Sci Appl. 1997 May 9;692(2):311-7.

Application of a new high-performance liquid chromatographic method for measuring selected polyphenols in human plasma.

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  • 1Unit of Human Nutrition, National Institute of Nutrition, Rome, Italy.


We developed a method to measure plasma levels of selected polyphenols before and after ingestion of green tea. Blood samples were obtained from four healthy women before and 30 and 50 min after the ingestion of 300 ml of green tea infusion. A 1-ml volume of plasma was hydrolysed with 0.5 M HCl-methanol (1:1, v/v) for 30 min at room temperature, extracted with ethyl acetate and separated by reversed-phase chromatography. Polyphenols were identified on the basis of their retention times and by spectrum analysis. Green tea caffeine has the same retention times as caffeic acid. Consumption of green tea produces a notable increase in the plasma levels of caffeine plus caffeic acid and the appearance of measurable levels of epigallocatechingallate. In conclusion, the method was found to have the requisite features of specificity and sensitivity for monitoring plasma levels of selected tea polyphenols.

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