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Pharmacol Res. 1997 Jun;35(6):505-12.

Hypocholesterolemic effects of Chinese tea.

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Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


Chinese teas with different degrees of fermentation were examined for their effect on diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in rats. The teas tested were Chinese Green tea, Jasmine, Iron Buddha, Oolong and Pu erh. Hypercholesterolemia was induced by feeding rats with a cholesterol-enriched diet for 1 week. They were then treated with different tea extracts together with a cholesterol-enriched diet for another 8 weeks. Chinese Green tea and Jasmine tea, both with a minimum degree of fermentation, were found to have significant serum and liver cholesterol lowering effects. They also reduced the increase in liver weight due to lipid deposition. All tea treatments lowered the atherogenic index and increased the HDL-total cholesterol ratio, while HDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels were not significantly affected. Analysis of catechin levels in tea extracts showed that the individual catechin component in Chinese Green tea and Jasmine tea were significantly higher than the others. (-)-Epicatechin gallate and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate in the tea extracts may account for their hypocholesterolemic effect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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