Bioavailability of Tea Components

Alexander Yashin, Boris Nemzer, Yakov Yashin


This review discusses the bioavailability of active components of green and black teas--in hot brewed tea, cold tea, and dietary supplements containing tea extracts, based on literature published in 1995-2011. Many publications demonstrate that consumption of tea increases the antioxidant status of a person (between 3.5-76%) and reduces the concentration of oxidative stress biomarkers in biological fluids. In 1-2 hours after tea intake, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epicatechin (EC), and epicatechin gallate (ECG) at a level of 5-150 ng/ml were detected in plasma by HPLC. The results of pharmacokinetics and metabolism of biologically active tea components analyzed within 24 hours in plasma, urine, and feces by HPLC-MS and GC-MS are presented. Dozens of metabolites were identified in urine and plasma—these are methylated, sulfated, and glucuronide conjugates of catechins. Some metabolites were shown to have high antioxidant activity. The role of the small intestine and colon in absorption of catechins was also identified.

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Journal of Food Research   ISSN 1927-0887 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0895 (Online)  E-mail:

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