The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant activities (2,2-Diphenyl-1-Picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activities) of different teas from Camellia sinensisand their effects on the blood lipid profiles of rats. Green, red and white teas were examined. Liquid and dietary intake, body weight, peritoneal fat, lipid profiles (total cholesterol and fractions and triacylglycerols) and lipids in the liver and faeces were measured. Thirty adult male Wistar rats were randomly divided into the following five groups: standard (commercial feed diet and water); control (hypercholesterolemic diet and water); green (hypercholesterolemic diet and green tea); red (hypercholesterolemic diet and red tea); and white (hypercholesterolemic diet and white tea). C. sinensis teas revealed different properties. Green tea demonstrated the highest DPPH radical scavenging activities. Green, red and white teas affected neither dietary intake nor weight gain. Both green and white teas reduced peritoneal fat. White tea reduced very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) and increased fat elimination in the faeces. Red tea reduced hepatic lipids and increased high density lipoprotein (HDL).
Key words: Camellia sinensis, catechin, obesity, lipid metabolism.
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