Enhanced cholesterol- and triglyceride- lowering effect of West African green tea



‘The Vert’ is a special type of green tea widely consumed in West Africa and locally associated with many health benefits. However, limited research has been conducted to evaluate its health benefits, such as its enhanced hypolipidemic potential. The objectives of this study were to (1) evaluate the cholesterol- and triglyceride-lowering effects of West African green tea (WAGT) as affected by diet and tea intake, (2) determine the impact of WAGT consumption on the CHD risk ratio, and (3) explore possible mechanisms through which WAGT improves serum lipid profile. Forty-five male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to one of nine treatment combinations, three diets (regular, high-cholesterol, and trans-fat diets) and three fluid sources (no tea, diluted tea, and concentrated tea). After 6 weeks of feeding, animal blood, liver, and feces were harvested. Total cholesterol, HDLc, LDLc, and triglycerides in serum, liver, and feces were determined. The concentrations of bile acids in feces were also measured. WAGT significantly lowered serum and liver cholesterol (30% and 15%, respectively) and increased serum HDL cholesterol (30%). It also reduced liver enlargement caused by storage of excess lipids in high-cholesterol diet. Overall, the CHD risk ratio was cut by two-thirds in rats fed high-cholesterol diet and WAGT. A marked increase in fecal total lipids, cholesterol (60%), and bile acids (50%) was observed in rats that consumed WAGT compared to the control group. These beneficial effects could be attributed to the significantly high flavonoid content of WAGT. Copyright © 2007 Society of Chemical Industry