Consumption of Green or Black Tea Does Not Increase Resistance of Low-density Lipoprotein to Oxidation in Humans


van het Hof KH




Am J Clin Nutr


Epidemiologic studies indicated that tea consumption reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. We assessed the effect of green or black tea consumption on resistance of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to oxidation ex vivo and on serum lipid concentrations in healthy volunteers. In a 4-wk parallel comparison trial, 45 volunteers consumed 900 mL (6 cups) mineral water, green tea, or black tea/d. Blood samples drawn while subjects were fasting were obtained before and after the study. The effect on resistance of subsequently isolated LDL to oxidation of adding green or black tea extract to plasma was investigated in an in vitro experiment. Consumption of 900 mL (6 cups) green or black tea/d did not affect serum lipid concentrations, resistance of LDL to oxidation, or markers of oxidative damage to lipids in vivo, although consumption of green tea slightly increased total antioxidant activity of plasma. The in vitro experiment showed that resistance of isolated LDL to oxidation increased only after incubation of plasma with very high amounts of green or black tea. These amounts, when converted to tea catechin concentrations, were much higher than those expected in vivo. We conclude that daily consumption of 900 mL (6 cups) green or black tea/d for 4 wk had no effect on serum lipid concentrations or resistance of LDL to oxidation ex vivo. Future research should focus on mechanisms by which tea flavonoids may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease other than by increasing the intrinsic antioxidant status of LDL.

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