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Health News Archive 750 - Green Tea Absorption
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Vitamin C Increases Absorption of Antioxidants from Green Tea

Combining vitamin C with green tea or its extracts improves the absorption of antioxidants found in the tea, scientists have reported in a new study.

Epidemiological studies have suggested that green tea catechins may play a role in cognitive enhancement, maintaining proper weight and lowering risk of certain cancers. However, after drinking green tea, absorption of the catechins found in green tea can vary.

In the current study, the researchers used a simulated gastric and small-intestinal digestion system to study the effects of juices, creamers and other additives on the absorption of antioxidants from tea. The study authors formulated green tea water extracts in drinks to provide doses of epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG), and epicatechin-gallate (ECG) of 4.5, 18, 23, and 3.5 mg per 100 mL, respectively. The researchers then added citric acid, BHT, EDTA, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), milk (bovine, soy, and rice), or citrus juice (orange, grapefruit, lemon, and lime), and measured the stability of the catechins under the simulated gastric and small-intestinal conditions.

Vitamin C at a dose of 30 mg in 250 mL of tea significantly increased catechin stability of EGC, EGCG, EC, and ECG to 74, 54, 82, and 45 percent, respectively. Adding the citrus juice also led to increased stability of the catechins.

The researchers are conducting an ongoing in vivo study to determine whether vitamin C and juices can increase the levels of green tea catechins in the intestines and bloodstream of animals.

Reference:

Green RJ, Murphy AS, Schulz B, Watkins BA, Ferruzzi MG. Common tea formulations modulate in vitro digestive recovery of green tea catechins. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Sep;51(9):1152-62.

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