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Heat-epimerized tea catechins rich in gallocatechin gallate and catechin gallate are more effective to inhibit cholesterol absorption than tea catechins rich in epigallocatechin gallate and epicatechin gallate

Ikeda, I., Kobayashi, M., Hamada, T., Tsuda, K., Goto, H., Imaizumi, K., Nozawa, A., Sugimoto, A., Kakuda, T.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2003 v.51 no.25 pp. 7303-7307
green tea, flavanols, heat treatment, pasteurization, isomerization, isomers, cholesterol, absorption, lymphatic system, hypocholesterolemia, rats
It has been known that tea catechins, (-)-epicatechin (1), (-)-epigallocatechin (2), (-)-epicatechin gallate (3), and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (4) are epimerized to(-)-catechin (5), (-)-gallocatechin (6), (-)-catechin gallate (7), and (-)-gallocatechin gallate (8), respectively, during retort pasteurization. We previously reported that tea catechins, mainly composed of 3 and 4, effectively inhibit cholesterol absorption in rats. In this study, the effect of heat-epimerized catechins on cholesterol absorption was compared with tea catechins. Both tea catechins and heat-epimerized catechins lowered lymphatic recovery of cholesterol in rats cannulated in the thoracic duct and epimerized catechins were more effective than tea catechins. The effect of purified catechins on micellar solubility of cholesterol was examined in an in vitro study. The addition of gallate esters of catechins reduced micellar solubility of cholesterol by precipitating cholesterol from bile salt micelles. Compounds 7 and 8 were more effective to precipitate cholesterol than 3 and 4, respectively. These observations strongly suggest that heat-epimerized catechins may be more hypocholesterolemic than tea catechins.