Japanese researchers explored the effect of tea catechins and regular exercise and the aging associated declining physical performance in mice. The endurance capacity of mice as measured by running time decreased by 17% in control mice, while those fed green tea catechins (0.35%) suffered no decline in endurance. The authors concluded “long-term intake of catechins, together with habitual exercise, is beneficial for suppressing the age-related decline in physical performance and energy metabolism, and these effects are due, at least in part, to improved mitochondrial function in skeletal muscle.”
Tea catechin ingestion combined with habitual exercise suppresses the aging-associated decline in physical performance in senescence-accelerated mice.
Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2008 May 14. Murase T, Haramizu S, Ota N, Hase T.
Catechins, which are abundant in green tea, possess a variety of biologic actions, and their clinical application has been extensively investigated. In this study, we examined the effects of tea catechins and regular exercise on the aging-associated decline in physical performance in senescence-accelerated prone mice (SAMP1) and age-matched senescence-accelerated resistant mice (SAMR1). The endurance capacity of SAMR1 mice, measured as the running time to exhaustion, tended to increase over the 8-week experimental period, whereas that of SAMP1 mice decreased by 17%. On the other hand, the endurance capacity of SAMP1 mice fed 0.35% (w/w) catechins remained at the initial level and was significantly higher than that of SAMP1 mice not fed catechins. In SAMP1 mice fed catechins and given exercise, oxygen consumption was significantly increased, and there was an increase in skeletal muscle fatty acid beta-oxidation. The mRNA levels of mitochondria-related molecules, such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1, cytochrome c oxidase-II, III, and IV in skeletal muscle were also higher in SAMP1 mice given both catechins and exercise. Moreover, oxidative stress measured as thiobarbituric reactive substances was lower in SAMP1 groups fed catechins than in the SAMP1 control group. These results suggest that long-term intake of catechins, together with habitual exercise, is beneficial for suppressing the aging-related decline in physical performance and energy metabolism, and that these effects are due, at least in part, to improved mitochondrial function in skeletal muscle. Key words: energy metabolism, exercise, green tea, mitochondria, oxidative stress.