The role of antioxidant versus pro-oxidant effects of green tea polyphenols in cancer prevention

Sarah C. Forester, Joshua D. Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

155 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Consumption of green tea (Camellia sinensis) may provide protection against chronic diseases, including cancer. Green tea polyphenols are believed to be responsible for this cancer preventive effect, and the antioxidant activity of the green tea polyphenols has been implicated as a potential mechanism. This hypothesis has been difficult to study in vivo due to metabolism of these compounds and poor understanding of the redox environment in vivo. Green tea polyphenols can be direct antioxidants by scavenging reactive oxygen species or chelating transition metals as has been demonstrated in vitro. Alternatively, they may act indirectly by upregulating phase II antioxidant enzymes. Evidence of this latter effect has been observed in vivo, yet more work is required to determine under which conditions these mechanisms occur. Green tea polyphenols can also be potent pro-oxidants, both in vitro and in vivo, leading to the formation of hydrogen peroxide, the hydroxyl radical, and superoxide anion. The potential role of these pro-oxidant effects in the cancer preventive activity of green tea is not well understood. The evidence for not only the antioxidant, but also pro-oxidant, properties of green tea is discussed in the present review.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)844-854
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Volume55
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

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Polyphenols
green tea
Tea
oxidants
Reactive Oxygen Species
polyphenols
Antioxidants
antioxidants
neoplasms
Neoplasms
transition elements
Camellia sinensis
hydroxyl radicals
in vivo studies
chronic diseases
Superoxides
Hydroxyl Radical
superoxide anion
Hydrogen Peroxide
Oxidation-Reduction

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science

Cite this

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abstract = "Consumption of green tea (Camellia sinensis) may provide protection against chronic diseases, including cancer. Green tea polyphenols are believed to be responsible for this cancer preventive effect, and the antioxidant activity of the green tea polyphenols has been implicated as a potential mechanism. This hypothesis has been difficult to study in vivo due to metabolism of these compounds and poor understanding of the redox environment in vivo. Green tea polyphenols can be direct antioxidants by scavenging reactive oxygen species or chelating transition metals as has been demonstrated in vitro. Alternatively, they may act indirectly by upregulating phase II antioxidant enzymes. Evidence of this latter effect has been observed in vivo, yet more work is required to determine under which conditions these mechanisms occur. Green tea polyphenols can also be potent pro-oxidants, both in vitro and in vivo, leading to the formation of hydrogen peroxide, the hydroxyl radical, and superoxide anion. The potential role of these pro-oxidant effects in the cancer preventive activity of green tea is not well understood. The evidence for not only the antioxidant, but also pro-oxidant, properties of green tea is discussed in the present review.",
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The role of antioxidant versus pro-oxidant effects of green tea polyphenols in cancer prevention. / Forester, Sarah C.; Lambert, Joshua D.

In: Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, Vol. 55, No. 6, 01.06.2011, p. 844-854.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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