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Abstract

Green tea is consumed as a popular beverage in Japan and throughout the world. During the past decade, epidemiological studies have shown that tea catechin intake is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease [1,2]. In vitro biochemical studies have reported that catechins, particularly epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCg), help to prevent oxidation of plasma low-density lipoprotein (LDL) [3–5]. LDL oxidation has been recognized to be an important step in the formation of atherosclerotic plaques and subsequent cardiovascular disease [6].

Metabolic studies have shown that EGCg supplement is incorporated into human plasma at a maximum concentration of 4400 pmol/mL [7–10]. Such concentrations would be enough to exert antioxidative activity in the blood stream. The potent antioxidant property of tea catechin may be beneficial in preventing the oxidation of LDL. It is of interest to examine the effect of green tea catechin supplementation on antioxidant capacity of plasma in humans by measuring plasma phosphatidylcholine hydroperoxide (PCOOH) as a marker of oxidized lipoproteins.