Green tea polyphenols (flavan 3-ols) prevent oxidative modification of low density lipoproteins: an ex vivo study in humans.


Miura Y, Chiba T, Miura S, Tomita I I, Umegaki K, Ikeda M, Tomita T.




J Nutr Biochem


Oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) plays crucial roles in atherogenesis. We previously reported that green tea polyphenols (flavan 3-ols), especially epigallocatechingallate (EGCg) and epicatechingallate, exerted potent inhibitory effects on LDL oxidation in vitro. To examine whether intake of green tea polyphenols renders LDL resistant to ex vivo oxidation in humans, 22 male volunteers aged between 22 and 32 years were recruited and assigned the same dietary regimen for 2 weeks. After a 1-week baseline period, they were equally divided into two groups: control and tea. The tea group ingested 300 mg of green tea polyphenol extract twice daily for 1 week. Plasma EGCg concentration at the end of the experiment was 56 nmol/L on average (56% in free form) in the tea group; no EGCg was detected before the experiment. Plasma concentrations of lipids, ascorbate, alpha-tocopherol, and lipid peroxides did not change before and after the experiment in either group, but beta-carotene was higher in the tea group (P< 0.01 by paired Student'st-test). LDL (0.1 mg/mL) was incubated with 5 ?M Cu(2+) and the oxidation was measured by absorbance at 234 nm. The lag time was significantly prolonged by 13.7 min in the tea group (P < 0.05 by paired Student'st-test, before versus after), whereas such a change was not observed in the control group. These results suggest that daily consumption of seven to eight cups (approximately 100 mL each cup) of green tea may increase resistance of LDL to in vivo oxidation, leading to reduction in the risk of cardiovascular diseases.