Life sciences

Concentrated green tea supplement: biological activity and molecular mechanisms.

PMID 25703070


This study was undertaken to determine the biological activity of a green tea supplement with respect to cells and erythrocyte membranes and the molecular mechanism of that activity. The extract's activity was evaluated on the basis of its hemolytic, antioxidant and antiinflammatory actions. In addition, the extract's effect on the physical properties of the erythrocyte membrane was examined. We also conducted a detailed analysis of supplement ingredients using high-yield liquid chromatography, supplemented with standard tests of total content of polyphenols and flavonoids in the supplement. The study showed that green tea extract has a high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity with no deleterious effect on red blood cells. The extract modifies the physical properties of the erythrocyte membrane, apparently by binding to its hydrophilic region, with consequent rigidity of the hydrophobic region, increased hydration and a moderate increase in its resistance to changes in tonicity of the medium. Because the extract's components anchor in the polar region of membrane lipids, they are able to effectively scavenge free radicals in the immediate vicinity of the membrane and hinder their diffusion into its interior. Green tea supplement at concentrations markedly exceeding the blood plasma physiological polyphenol concentrations has no destructive effect on the erythrocyte membrane. Due to the high content of flavan-3-ols, the supplement exhibits high biological activity, which makes it an alternative source of those substances to the commonly used infusion of green tea leaves.