No Effect of Consumption of Green and Black Tea on Plasma Lipid and Antioxidant Levels and on LDL Oxidation in Smokers


Princen HM




Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol


Intake of flavonoids is associated with a reduced cardiovascular risk. Oxidation of LDL is a major step in atherogenesis, and antioxidants may protect LDL from oxidation. Because tea is an important source of flavonoids, which are strong antioxidants, we have assessed in a randomized, placebo-controlled study the effect of consumption of black and green tea and of intake of isolated green tea polyphenols on LDL oxidation ex vivo and on plasma levels of antioxidants and lipids. Healthy male and female smokers (aged 34+/-12 years, 13 to 16 per group) consumed during a 4-week period 6 cups (900 mL) of black or green tea or water per day, or they received as a supplement 3.6 grams of green tea polyphenols per day (equivalent to the consumption of 18 cups of green tea per day). Consumption of black or green tea had no effect on plasma cholesterol and triglycerides, HDL and LDL cholesterol, plasma vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and uric acid. No differences were found in parameters of LDL oxidation. Intake of green tea polyphenols decreased plasma vitamin E significantly in that group compared with the control group (-11% P=.016) but had no effect on LDL oxidation ex vivo. We conclude that consumption of black or green tea (6 cups per day) has no effect on plasma lipids and no sparing effect on plasma antioxidant vitamins and that intake of a high dose of isolated green tea polyphenols decreases plasma vitamin E. Although tea polyphenols had a potent antioxidant activity on LDL oxidation in vitro, no effect was found on LDL oxidation ex vivo after consumption of green or black tea or intake of a green tea polyphenol isolate.

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