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Review on Camellia sinensis –Nature’s Gift



Green tea (Camellia sinensis) always influenced human health benefits associated with this herbal drink. Green tea has possible benefits include promotion of cardio-vascular health, cancer prevention, skin protection, and antioxidant activity, to fight high cholesterol levels, infection, impaired immune system, diarrhoea, fatigue and much more. The credit for their useful antioxidant property exists with their huge collection of chemical substances called polyphenols and catechins make the major contribution to them. In addition, its content of certain minerals and vitamins increases the antioxidant potential of this type of tea The present paper reviews the geographical distribution, history, cultivation, uses, side effects, synonyms, botanical description, taxonomical classification, phytochemical constituents and pharmacological activities.
Available online on
International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research 2017; 9(8); 1119-1126
ISSN: 0975-4873
Review Article
*Author for Correspondence:
Review on Camellia sinensis Nature’s Gift
Agarwal U*, Pathak D P, Bhutani R, Kapoor G, Kant R
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research Pushp Vihar-3, M.B.
Road, New Delhi-110017, India
Available Online:
Green tea (Camellia sinensis) always influenced human health benefits associated with this herbal drink. Green tea has
possible benefits include promotion of cardio-vascular health, cancer prevention, skin protection, and antioxidant
activity, to fight high cholesterol levels, infection, impaired immune system, diarrhoea, fatigue and much more. The
credit for their useful antioxidant property exists with their huge collection of chemical substances called polyphenols
and catechins make the major contribution to them. In addition, its content of certain minerals and vitamins increases the
antioxidant potential of this type of tea The present paper reviews the geographical distribution, history, cultivation, uses,
side effects, synonyms, botanical description, taxonomical classification, phytochemical constituents and
pharmacological activities.
Keywords: Green tea, Camellia sinensis, Medicinal property.
Camellia sinensis is a species of evergreen angiosperm
dicot plant whose leaves and leaf buds are used to
produce flourishing tea. It is of the genus Camellia of
flowering plants in the family Theaceae. It is native to
mainland China, South and Southeast Asia [2]. Tea is the
most consumed drink in the world after water1. Green tea
contains more catechins than black tea or oolong tea.
Catechins are in vitro and in vivo strong antioxidants. In
addition, its content minerals and vitamins increase the
antioxidant potential of this type of tea. Presently, it is
cultivated in at least 30 countries around the world. Tea
beverage is an infusion of the dried leaves of Camellia
sinensis. It is a widely used medicinal plant by the
throughout India, China and popular in the various
indigenous system of medicine like Ayurveda, Unani and
Homoeopathy. Green tea has been consumed in all
respects ages in India, China, Japan and Thailand.
This evergreen plant originated near the source of the
Irrawaddy River (in Burma), then spread eastward into
South-Eastern China, westward into upper Burma and
Assam (North-Eastern India)2. Tea has been consumed as
a beverage in China for 2000 to 3000 years. It was
introduced to Japan around 600 A.D. and to Europe in the
1600s. Tea is grown mainly in the Subtropics and in the
mountainous areas of the tropics between latitudes 41° N
and 16° S. It is an intensively managed perennial
monoculture crop cultivated on large- and small-scale
plantations in a variety of countries including China,
India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Turkey, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
Overall, tea is grown on over 2.71 million hectares in
more than 34 countries across Asia, Africa, Latin
America, and Oceania, with an annual yield of 3.22
million metric tons of processed tea.
Botanical description of green tea
Macroscopical description
Shrubs, 1-5(-9) m tall. Young branches grayish yellow,
current year branchlets purplish red and terminal buds
silvery gray sericeous3.
The leaves are 415 cm (1.65.9 in) long and 25 cm
(0.791.97 in) broad. Fresh leaves contain about
4% caffeine. The young light green leaves are first
harvested for tea production and have short white hairs
on the undersurface while older leaves are deeper
green. Different leaf ages produce differing tea
qualities, therefore, chemical compositions are
different. Youngest leaves narrow, downy but slightly
Petiole 4-7 mm.
The flowers are axillary, yellow-white and 2.54 cm
(0.981.57 in) in diameter.
Sepals 5, persistent, 3-5mm, outside glabrous or white
pubescent, inside white sericeous and margin ciliate.
Petals 6-8, white, outer 1-3 petals sepaloid, inner petals
obovate to broadly obovate, 1.5-2 × 1.2-2 cm, basally
connate and apex rounded.
Stamens numerous, 0.8-1.3 cm, glabrous; outer
filament whorl basally connate for ca. 2 mm.
Ovary globose, densely white pubescent, subglabrous
and 3-loculed
Capsule oblate, 2-coccal, or rarely globose, 1-1.5 × 1.5-
3 cm, 1- or 2-loculed with 1 seed per locule, pericarp l
mm thick.
Seeds brown subglobose, 1-1.4 cm in diameter.
Microscopical Description
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Table 2: Botanical Classification Of Green Tea12.
Tracheobionta-vascular plants
Spermatophyte-seed plants
Magnoliophyta-flowering plants
Theaceae-tea family
Camellia L.-camellia
Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze-tea
Table 3: International Names Of Green Tea13.
té verde
thé vert
grönt te
Northwestern Arabia
West Germanic
tè verde
chá verde
green tee
ीन टी
Green tea
England, USA, New
The upper epidermis is composed of cells with undulating
walls and covered with a rather thick cuticle. The lower
epidermis consists of smaller cells and is alone provided
with stomata; the latter are surrounded by three or four
782.4 (80.8%)
218.7 (83.0%)
91.8 9 (9.5%)
1.6 (0.6%)
66.0 (6.8%)
26.0 (9.9%)
20.0 (2.1%)
9.1 (3.5%)
968.1 (100%)
263.5 (100%)
tangentially elongated cells.Simple hairs occur on both
surfaces of the leaf, but they are more abundant on the
lower; the number, however, varies with the variety of
tea, and with the age of the leaf; hey are unicellular,
tapering and rather thick walled, varying very much in
length, but often attaining 500-700 microns. The
mesophyll is heterogeneous and symmetrical. It is
characterized by the presence of a large number
of sclerenchymatous idioblasts. These are more or less
branched and warty and often extend transversely from
the upper to the lower epidermis. They vary much in
shape and in the thickness of the walls. The cells of the
spongy parenchyma contain cluster crystals of calcium
oxalate. The midrib is biconvex. Under each epidermis
there is a layer of collenchyma of varying thickness. The
Table 1: Possible Interaction.
Green tea retards the action of adenosine drugs.
Green tea increases the efficacy of these drugs.
Blood thinning
Green tea increases blood thinning effects.
Green tea increases the potency of these drugs.
Green tea reduces the effect of these drugs.
Green tea with the drug may cause agitation, tremors, insomnia and weight
Green tea reduces the blood levels of these drugs.
Green tea with these drugs treats depression.
Birth control pills
Green tea prolongs the action.
Phenyl propanolamine
Green tea may a cause severe increase in blood pressure.
Quinolone Antibiotics
Green tea may make these medications more effective and also increase the
risk of side effects.
Table 4: Indian Names Of Green Tea13.
green tee
ीन टी
North India
Harī cāha
ਹਰੀ ਚਾਹ
Līlī cā
લલલલ લલ
Hasiru cahā
ಹ ಚ
ےئاچ زبس
Jammu and
grīn ṭī
Hiravā cahā
Paccai tēyilai
Tamil Nadu
Grīn ṭī
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Table 6: Principle components of green tea14.
Green tea (% weight
of extract solid)
Other flavonoids
Other depsides
Ascorbic acid
Gallic acid
Quinic acid
Other organic acids
Other amino acids
wood is arched and the bast contains crystals of calcium
oxalate. The meristele is surrounded by a pericycle
consisting of slightly lignified cells
arranged in circle. The cortical tissue contains idioblasts
which are usually rather larger and more branched than
those of the mesophyll. The little fragments of the stems,
which are often to be found in ordinary tea, have a
slightly different structure. The wood in them forms a
circle within which there are pith containing branched
idioblasts; these have comparatively thin, pitted walls4.
Geographical Description
World scenario
Camellia sinensis is home-grown from mainland china,
south and Southeast Asia but it is at the present period of
time cultivated across the world [Table 5]5.
Indian scenario
The roughly calculated production of green tea in India in
the year 2013 was 11 million kgs only. West Bengal
produces 8 million kgs, Assam 2 million kgs and the
remaining 1 million was produced by South India6.
Production process
Growing and harvesting
Green tea is processed and grows in a variety of ways,
depending on the type of green tea desired. As a result of
these methods, maximum amounts of polyphenols and
volatile organic compounds are retained with affecting
aroma and taste. The green tea plants are grown in rows
that are trim to produce shoots in a regular manner and in
general green tea plants are harvested three times per
year. The first gathering takes place in late April to early
May. The second harvesting usually takes place from
June through July, and the third picking takes place in
late July to early August. Sometimes, there can also be
the fourth harvest. It is the first flush in the spring that
brings the best-quality leaves with higher prices to match.
Green tea is processed using either:-
Artisanal method (Sun-drying, basket or charcoal
firingor pan-firing )
Camellia sinensis plant
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The Chinese style of green tea is characterized by pan-
firing, where tea leaves are heated in a basket, pan or mechanized rotating drum to halt the oxidation process.
Table 7: Chemical Strucuters.
Catechin, C, (+)-Catechin
Epicatechin, EC, (-)-Epicatechin (cis)
Epigallocatechin, EGC
Epicatechin gallate, ECG
Epigallocatechin gallate, EGCG, (-)-
Epigallocatechin gallate
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The flavor can be altered greatly depending on the
number and type of firings but generally, a pan firing
Chinese green tea takes on a yellowish-green or dark
green color and imparts a grassy, earthy and roasted
Some popular pan fired Chinese green teas include
Dragonwell and Gunpowder.
Modern methods (Oven-drying, tumbling, or steaming)7
The Japanese style of green tea is characterized by
steaming, where tea leaves are treated briefly with steam
heat within hours of plucking to both halts the oxidation
process and bring out the rich green color of both the tea
leaves and the final brewed tea.
The steaming process creates a unique flavor profile that
can be described as sweet, vegetal or seaweed-like. Some
Japanese green tea may also be shade grown during
cultivation or roasted during processing, both to create
additional flavor characteristics.
Some popular Japanese green teas include Sencha,
Hojicha, Genmaicha, Gyokoro and Matcha.
Processed green teas, known as aracha are stored under
low humidity refrigeration in 30- or 60-kg paper bags at
05 °C (3241 °F). This aracha has to be refined before at
stage of selection and packaging take place as they are
needed giving the green teas a longer shelf-life and better
flavor. The first flush tea of May readily stored in this
fashion until the next year's harvest. After this re-drying
process, each crude tea will be shifted and graded
according to size. Finally, each lot will be blended
according to the blending order by the tasters and packed
for sale8.
Preparing Green Tea
Depending on the type of green tea you’re planning to
brew each type may have different brewing temperature
Gallic acid
Quinic acid
Table 8: Nutritional Value15,16 Nutritional value per
100 g (3.5 oz).
Nutrient value
% of RDA
4 kJ (0.96 kcal)
0 g
0 g
0.2 g
Thiamine (B1)
0.007 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.06 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.03 mg
Vitamin B6
0.005 mg
Vitamin C
0.3 mg
0 mg
0.02 mg
1 mg
0.18 mg
8 mg
1 mg
Other constituents
99.9 mg
12 mg
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and steeping time instructions. Ask your tea vendor for
brewing tips if the tea package does not have specific
Here are a few general steps
Take one teaspoon of green tea leaves. Even if you
decide to make it for the whole family, keep in mind
that you take a teaspoon of tea leaves for each cup.
Now take the tea leaves in a strainer/sieve and keep
Now take a stainless steel pot/pan and boil adequate
water. If you wants to use a glass bowl instead. The
ideal temperature for green tea is 80 ͦ c to 85°c so keep
an eye on the water to make sure it’s not boiling. We
need to take water near to the boiling point but not
boiling. If accidentally it starts boiling, just switch off
the gas/heat and let it cool a bit (for say 30 to 45
seconds) and then it should be ready for use.
Now place the cup/mug in which you want to make the
tea. Take the sieve/ strainer and place it over the cup or
Now we need to pour the hot water into the cup and let
the tea steep for 3 minutes max. This is the step where
we need to be very careful. Not everyone likes their
drink strong and to see whether the tea is just right,
keep a spoon handy and drink a spoonful of tea every
30/45 seconds to find out if the flavor is right.
Now take out the sieve once you are sure of the taste
(or it’s passed 3 minutes) and keep it aside. Add some
sugar (½ teaspoon) or if you want a healthy choice, add
some honey (1 teaspoon).
Stir the sugar/honey in and let the drink cool a few
seconds and enjoy your cup of green tea.
Traditional Uses
According to tradition, green tea could cure headaches,
body aches, and pains to constipation and depression.
Green tea is said to increase the blood flow throughout
the body due to it contains a little caffeine, also
stimulates the heart and allows the blood to flow more
freely through the blood vessels. For the same reason
Table 9: Pharmacological activities.
Anti-Alzheimer activity 17,18
EGCG & Catechins
Anti-oxidant 19
Anti-Parkinson activity 20, 21
Anti-stroke activity
22, 23
Cardiovascular disease 24, 25
Flavonoids &
Anti-cancer activity
Catechins & EGCG
Anti-diabetic activity
Anti-caries activity
Anti-obesity activity
Caffeine, catechins
Skin 35
Anti-ageing activity 36
EGCG & catechins
Eye Disease 37
EGCG & catechins
Anti-bacterial 38
Renal failure 39
Anti-allergic 40
Anti-hair fall 41
Anti-inflammatory 42
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that green tea stimulates blood flow, it also stimulates
mental clarity9.
Green tea detoxifies the body. The presence of
polyphenols, a naturally occurring antioxidant in green
tea that keeps the body free from diseases. Antioxidants
in green tea can improve immunity, preserve young-
looking skin and brighten the eyes.
Green tea aids in digestion and banishes fatigue.
Chinese green tea is also said to prolong the lifespan.
Green tea has not any toxicity after consumption in both
human and experimental animals. Single doses of
decaffeinated green tea solids up to 4.5 g/day (45 cups of
tea) have been well tolerated by humans10.
Adverse Side Effect of Green Tea
These side effects can range from mild to serious and
include a headache, nervousness, sleep problems,
vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, irregular heartbeat, tremor,
heartburn, dizziness, ringing in the ears, convulsions, and
confusion. Green tea seems to reduce the absorption of
iron from food11.
Green Tea Dosing
A daily intake of 3 to 5 cups/day (1,200 mL) of green
tea will provide at least 250 mg/day of catechins. Green
tea extract should not be taken on an empty stomach due
to the potential for hepatotoxicity from excessive levels
of epigallocatechin gallate.
Green tea is an herbal gift of nature to the mankind.
Green tea has been found to possess various
pharmacological activities such as anti-alzheimer, anti-
oxidant, anti-parkinson, anti-stroke, anti-cardiovascular
disease, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-caries, anti-
obesity, anti-ageing, eye disease, anti-bacterial, anti-
allergic, anti-hair fall, anti-inflammatory due to the
presence of various chemical constituents called
polyphenols, catechins and others. Because of wide
health benefits of the tea it attracted the interest of people
in research about green tea.
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... The table below from Agarwal et al.,2017) shows the total tea production of green tea worldwide in 2006. Green tea is harvested three time a year and grown to maximise the levels of polyphenols and volatile organic compounds and having the best quality aromatic features and highest quality taste. ...
... Green tea is harvested three time a year and grown to maximise the levels of polyphenols and volatile organic compounds and having the best quality aromatic features and highest quality taste. The Spring flush in April-May produced the best quality harvest but it can also be harvested in June-August and sometimes later (Agarwal et al.,2017). ...
Full-text available
This experiment investigated the growth of Camellia Sinensis under in-vitro conditions. Nodes, leaves, stems, shoot tips were collected from the glasshouse and were grown on a solid media. This was done by testing various explants on various amounts of 6-Benzylaminopurine(BAP) and auxin 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid(2,4-D). Various sterilisation protocols were tested. The optimum callus growth was seen on nodal segments placed in ethanol for 3 minutes and then soaked in Domestos TM Bleach for 60 minutes with 2-3 drops of tween 20 followed by rinsing with distilled water and then placed on medium with 4 mg/l BAP and 4mg/l of NAA. Callus growth observed on leaves and nodal segments. 21 days later the non-contaminated callus was subcultured on fresh medium with 3mg of BAP and 0.5mg of GA3 to induced shoot growth. Contamination was consistently present in most leaf and stem explants under various sterilisation protocol and media. There was also a high rate of browning. Some shoot elongation as well as callus was also visible on leaves when subcultured on GA3. Low survival rate was observed with fungal and bacterial contamination being the main problem affecting the culture of Camellia Sinensis. In this study a literature review was conducted on the uses and characteristics of Camellia Sinensis.
The food industry is generating huge amounts of by-products, about 1,890,000 tons, which should be better recycled into pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and functional foods, for instance, in order to save costs and avoid pollution. Here we review food by-products and methods of extraction. We present bioactive compounds from fruits, vegetable, tea, coffee, egg, nuts, meat and dairy products. Extracting methods include soxhlet, maceration, microwave, ultrasound, pressure.
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Many studies have been conducted to classify the genus Camellia, yet they have not been entirely consistent. Therefore, doing research on some of the taxonomic systems of the genus Camellia will serve as the basis for the classification and arrangement of recently discovered species into a consistent system. A series of studies based on morphology as well as molecular biology techniques, the classification of pollen spores, and the analysis of leaf anatomy were examined. The systems based on morphological characteristics were inherited and widely recognized, thereby becoming an appropriate method to classify the genus Camellia with representatives in Vietnam.
Oxidative damage caused by imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants plays a major role in causation and progression of many chronic diseases, including cancer. Oxidative stress is known to mediate activation of multiple signaling pathways, growth factors, transcription factors, kinases, inflammatory and cell cycle regulatory molecules that cause transformation, survival, proliferation, metastasis, and chemoresistance in cancer cells. However, triggering of antioxidant mechanisms either by internal or external sources counteracts oxidative stress. Limited internal antioxidants in the body system necessitate the supplementation of additional antioxidants using dietary or medicinal plants. Ayurvedic medicine, which utilizes a variety of medicinal plants, has been shown to have immense potential to boost antioxidant activity. Besides antioxidant properties, Ayurvedic plants have various other well-known properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-ulcerative, antidiabetic, antigenotoxic, anticarcinogenic, and many others. In this chapter, we will discuss the link between oxidative stress and cancer and the role of some selected Ayurvedic plants in regulating oxidative stress and cancer.
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Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a bioactive polyphenol of green tea and exerts potent anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting signaling events and gene expression. Interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) is the principal cytokine linked to cartilage degradation in osteoarthritis (OA). The objective of this study was to evaluate the global effect of EGCG on IL-1β-induced expression of proteins associated with OA pathogenesis in human chondrocytes. Primary OA chondrocytes were pretreated with EGCG (10 to 100 uM) and then stimulated with IL-1β (5 ng/ml) for 24 hours. Culture supernatants were incubated with cytokine antibody arrays and immunoreactive proteins (80 proteins) were visualized by enhanced chemiluminiscence. Effect of EGCG on IL-1β-induced expression of 18 selected genes was verified by Real time-PCR and effect on IL-6, IL-8 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) production was determined using specific ELISAs. Western immunoblotting was used to analyze the effect of EGCG on the interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 (IRAK-1) and TNF receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF-6) proteins in IL-1β-stimulated chondrocytes. The role of nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) and mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in the regulation of selected genes and the mechanism involved in EGCG mediated modulation of these genes was determined by using specific inhibitors for NF- κB (MG132) and MAPKs (p38-MAPK, SB202190; JNK-MAPK, SP600125, ERK-MAPK, PD98059). Out of 80 proteins present on the array, constitutive expression of 14% proteins was altered by EGCG treatment. No significant stimulatory effect was observed on the proteins associated with cartilage anabolic response. Stimulation with IL-1β enhanced the expression of 29 proteins. Expression of all 29 proteins up-regulated by IL-1β was found to be suppressed by EGCG. EGCG also inhibited the expression of the signaling intermediate TRAF-6 at 50 and 100 uM concentrations (P < 0.05). Our results identified several new targets of EGCG, including epithelial neutrophil activating peptide-78 (ENA-78), granulocyte macrophage colony stimulation factor (GM-CSF), growth- related oncogene (GRO), GRO-α, IL-6, IL-8, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), MCP-3, macrophage inflammatory protein-1beta (MIP-1β), granulocyte chemotactic protein-2 (GCP-2), MIP-3alpha, interferon-gamma-inducible protein-10 (IP-10), nucleosome assembly protein-2 (NAP-2) and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). The inhibitory effects of EGCG were mainly mediated by inhibiting the activation of NF-κB and c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK)-MAPK in human chondrocytes. Our results suggest that the potential of EGCG in OA treatment/prevention may be related to its ability to globally suppress the inflammatory response in human chondrocytes. These results identify additional new targets of EGCG and advocate that EGCG may be a potent chondroprotective agent in OA.
Medicinal plants have been a major source of therapeutic agents for alleviation and cure diseases. In the present investigation comparative analysis of antimicrobial activity of green tea Camellia sinensis fresh leaves, commercial green tea leaves and dust tea against enteropathogens and specific fungi were carried out. The antimicrobial activity of the extracts of Camellia sinensis was analyzed by using well diffusion method paper disk diffusion method and minimum inhibitory concentration. Synergistic activity of green tea and commercial antibiotic chlorophenicol was analyzed. The allopathic antibacterial drugs are said to be costlier and have more side effects. Moreover multiple drug resistant strains are on the raise in this era and thus complicating treatment. On the other hand herbal preparations are comparatively cheaper and have lesser side effects. So, herbal preparations can supplement other systems of medicine for the treatment of diseases caused by bacteria and fungi.
Though hair loss (alopecia) is not a debilitating or life threatening sickness, the very thought of becoming bald can lead to emotional stress and traumatic experience for those who suffer from premature or excessive hair loss. Many will try anything and everything to bring back their locks. Or at least, some of their once full head of hair. Hair loss sufferers spend billion of dollar annually on remedies ranging from drugs, vitamins to special tonics and shampoos. Conventional treatments of hair thinning includes drugs therapy and hair transplant. Minoxidil and Propecia (Finasteride) are the only two drugs approved by the FDA for hair growth in men. Minoxidil is the only drug available for women with androgenetic alopecia. These drugs have been proven to show positive results for balding conditions on the vertex region of the scalp. Though these drugs are effective, many are wary of their unknown long-term effect and potential side-effects. This has led to increase interest in alternative remedies such as herbal medicine.
Green tea (Camelia sinensis) is known to possess biological properties that are antioxidative and antimutagenic. Recent studies demonstrated beneficial effects of green tea in inflammatory allergy. However, the effect of green tea on anti-allergic activity/IgE responses in vitro has not been studied. U266 myeloma cells (2 x 10(6)/ml), which secrete IgE, were cultured for 0-72 hr with or without green tea extract (1-300 ng/ml), and IgE levels in the supernatants were determined (24-72 hr) by ELISA. The effects of green tea extract on U266 cell numbers, viability, and apoptosis were studied by flow cytometry. High levels of IgE produced by U266 cells were observed at 24, 48, and 72 hr (1.3 +/- 0.3 x 10(3), 1.7 +/- 0.3 x 10(3), 2.8 +/- 0.4 x 10(3) IU/ml, respectively). Addition of green tea extract either as (a) a single dose, or (b) repeated daily doses, suppressed IgE production with increasing suppression over time (up to 90%; p <0.05); the suppression was dose-dependent with the highest concentrations resulting in the greatest suppression. The suppression of IgE production by green tea extract was not mediated by apoptosis or cell death. This study demonstrates that green tea extract has immunoregulatory effects on human IgE responses in vitro.
Catechins, active constituents of green tea, are well-known antioxidative natural products. It was proposed that green tea extract (GTE) consumption could benefit the eye, and the pharmacokinetics of catechins and oxidation status in rat eye were investigated after oral administration. Sprague-Dawley rats were fed GTE and sacrificed at different time intervals. Their eyes were dissected into cornea, lens, retina, choroid-sclera, vitreous humor, and aqueous humor for analysis of catechins and 8-epi-isoprostane by HPLC-ECD and GC-NCI-MS, respectively. Catechins were differentially distributed in eye tissues. Gallocatechin was present at the highest concentration in the retina, 22729.4 +/- 4229.4 pmol/g, and epigallocatechin in aqueous humor at 602.9 +/- 116.7 nM. The corresponding area-under-curves were 207,000 pmol x h/g and 2035.0 +/- 531.7 nM x h, respectively. The time of maximum concentration of the catechins varied from 0.5 to 12.2 h. Significant reductions in 8-epi-isoprostane levels were found in the compartments except the choroid-sclera or plasma, indicating antioxidative activities of catechins in these tissues.
Experimental models of stroke provide consistent evidence of smaller stroke volumes in animals ingesting tea components or tea extracts. To assess whether a similar association of black or green tea consumption with reduced risk is evident in human populations, we sought to identify and summarize all human clinical and observational data on tea and stroke. We searched PubMed and Web of Science for all studies on stroke and tea consumption in humans with original data, including estimation or measurement of tea consumption and outcomes of fatal or nonfatal stroke. Data from 9 studies involving 4378 strokes among 194 965 individuals were pooled. The main outcome was the occurrence of fatal or nonfatal stroke. We tested for heterogeneity and calculated the summary effect estimate associated with consumption of >or=3 cups of tea (green or black) per day using random-effects and fixed-effects models for the homogeneous studies. Publication bias was also evaluated. Regardless of their country of origin, individuals consuming >or=3 cups of tea per day had a 21% lower risk of stroke than those consuming <1 cup per day (absolute risk reduction, 0.79; CI, 0.73 to 0.85). The proportion of heterogeneity not explained by chance alone was 23.8%. Although a randomized clinical trial would be necessary to confirm the effect, this meta-analysis suggests that daily consumption of either green or black tea equaling 3 cups per day could prevent the onset of ischemic stroke.
Catechins in green tea have been shown to reduce a risk of coronary heart disease in epidemiological studies. Also, it has been reported catechins have hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects. Then, we investigated the effects of ground green tea drinking on the susceptibility of plasma and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to the oxidation by CuSO4 ex vivo, and also evaluated daily food consumption using semiquantitative questionnaire. Five healthy female subjects consumed ground green tea (1.5 g/3 times/day) for 2 weeks after a washout period of 1 week, when they drank water instead of tea. After 2-week tea drinking, the subjects drank water again. They also filled food and drink-frequency questionnaires during 4 weeks to assess daily foods consumption to estimate the oxidizability of plasma and LDL. We measured the lag time of conjugated dienes formation of plasma and LDL to oxidation by CuSO4. The lag time of conjugated dienes formation are increased in all subjects after ground green tea consumption from 67+/-19 to 118+/-42 min in plasma and from 47+/-6 to 66+/-10 min in LDL. The cholesterol contents in plasma and LDL decreased 10 mg/dl after ground green tea consumption. The beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, vitamin C and uric acid contents in plasma did not change after ground green tea consumption. The superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in plasma also remained unchanged during this study periods. These findings indicated that ground green tea consumption decreased susceptibility of plasma and LDL to oxidation and also modulated cholesterol metabolism and might prevent initiation and progression of atherosclerosis.
Tea is grown in about 30 countries but is consumed worldwide, although at greatly varying levels. It is the most widely consumed beverage aside from water with a per capita worldwide consumption of approximately 0.12 liter per year. Tea is manufactured in three basic forms. Green tea is prepared in such a way as to preclude the oxidation of green leaf polyphenols. During black tea production oxidation is promoted so that most of these substances are oxidized. Oolong tea is a partially oxidized product. Of the approximately 2.5 million metric tons of dried tea manufactured, only 20% is green tea and less than 2% is oolong tea. Green tea is consumed primarily in China, Japan, and a few countries in North Africa and the Middle East. Fresh tea leaf is unusually rich in the flavanol group of polyphenols known as catechins which may constitute up to 30% of the dry leaf weight. Other polyphenols include flavanols and their glycosides, and depsides such as chlorogenic acid, coumarylquinic acid, and one unique to tea, theogallin (3-galloylquinic acid). Caffeine is present at an average level of 3% along with very small amounts of the other common methylxanthines, theobromine and theophylline. The amino acid theanine (5-N-ethylglutamine) is also unique to tea. Tea accumulates aluminum and manganese. In addition to the normal complement of plant cell enzymes, tea leaf contains an active polyphenol oxidase which catalyzes the aerobic oxidation of the catechins when the leaf cell structure is disrupted during black tea manufacture. The various quinones produced by the enzymatic oxidations undergo condensation reactions which result in a series of compounds, including bisflavanols, theaflavins, epitheaflavic acids, and thearubigens, which impart the characteristic taste and color properties of black tea. Most of these compounds readily form complexes with caffeine. There is no tannic acid in tea. Thearubigens constitute the largest mass of the extractable matter in black tea but their composition is not well known. Proanthocyanidins make up part of the complex. Tea peroxidase may be involved in their generation. The catechin quinones also initiate the formation of many of the hundreds of volatile compounds found in the black tea aroma fraction. Green tea composition is very similar to that of the fresh leaf except for a few enzymatically catalyzed changes which occur extremely rapidly following plucking. New volatile substances are produced during the drying stage. Oolong tea is intermediate in composition between green and black teas.
Among 5910 nondrinking and nonsmoking women (of greater than or equal to 40 years of age) in a prefectural city of Sendai, and two villages of Taijiri and Wakuya in Miyagi prefecture, Japan, medical history of stroke was less frequently observed among those who took more green tea in daily life. No relation with tea drinking was observed for hypertension history. The uneven distribution of stroke history was detectable even after the effects of age, location of residence, and high salt intake were ruled out. The incidence of stroke and cerebral hemorrhage during a 4-year follow-up of the study population was twice or more times higher in those who took less green tea (less than 5 cups a day) than in those who took more (greater than or equal to 5 cups daily).
Comparison of Parkinson's disease (PD) prevalence and incidence in various parts of the world is difficult because methods of case ascertainment, diagnostic criteria, classification, medical facilities, and age distribution of the populations vary broadly in different studies. We minimized these differences by adjusting available data to a single standard population. Using this we calculated age-adjusted rates for 27 regional populations and analyzed PD frequency from 45 communities. We conclude: (1) with the exception of China, Japan and Africa, which have the lowest prevalence ratios, the actual prevalence variation for PD is probably lower than previously reported in geographically diverse populations; (2) geographic variation is unlikely to be due exclusively to racial factors, and (3) environmental risk factors for PD might differ regionally.