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Tea (Camellia sinensis) flavonoids may assist in prevention of coronary artery disease

  Dietary flavonoid intake is reported to be inversely associated with incidence of coronary artery disease. Catechins and theaflavins are the two main groups of flavonoids found in teas. Most people in China and Japan drink large quantities of green tea, which may explain the fact that mortality rates from coronary artery disease are much lower in those countries than in the West, despite the high rates of cigarette smoking. This study investigated the effects of tea flavonoids on susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to oxidative modification. In vitro studies showed that catechins significantly and dose-dependently extended the pre-oxidation time; theaflavins exerted an even stronger effect. Results from the in vivo portion of this study showed that after 4 weeks of black tea consumption, lag time before LDL oxidation was significantly prolonged. These workers concluded that tea flavonoids may assist in ameliorating atherosclerosis. Ishikawa T, Suzukawa M, Ito T, et al. Effect of tea flavonoid supplementation on the susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein to oxidative modification.  
  Am J Clin Nutr 1997; 66:261-266.  
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