The aim of this study was to examine the mechanism of green tea in treating a broad spectrum of human diseases and to develop a safe and effective agent for antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory application. Catechin-enriched green tea extract (CEGTE) was prepared containing 83.15 ± 0.79% of total catechins. In vitro antimicrobial and in vivo anti-inflammatory effects were investigated and safety was evaluated in vivo with relevant positive controls. CEGTE was found to have significant bacteriostatic effects in all the bacteria isolates tested and inhibitory effects on influenza virus A3 (H3N2) and coxsackie virus B4. CEGTE showed inhibitory effects both on carrageenin-induced paw edema in rats and xylene-induced ear edema in mice and exhibited an inhibitory response against acetic acid-induced writhing in mice. The oral LD50 of CEGTE in both Sprague Dawley (SD) rats and imprinting control region (ICR) mice was determined to be greater than 20000 mg/kg body weight. The bacterial Ames test and mammalian micronucleus and sperm abnormality assay in mice showed no mutagenic properties with CEGTE. CEGTE can be applied as a safe and effective antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent with advantages over medicines which treat bacterial and viral infection or inflammation alone.
Key words: Catechin-enriched green tea extract (CEGTE), antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, safety evaluation.
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