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Modulation of oxidative stress by rooibos (aspalathus linearis) herbal tea, chinese green (camellia sinensis) tea and commercial tea supplements using a rodent model
Human and experimental animal studies have shown that biomarkers of oxidative damage are elevated in subjects with certain diseases or risk factors. Consequently, it is hypothesized that oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of these diseases and that dietary intake of, or supplementation with antioxidants may be protective or be useful therapeutic targets. This study was designed to investigate the modulatory effect of Camellia sinensis (Chinese green tea), Aspalathus linearis (rooibos herbal tea) and the two commercial supplements on the antioxidant status of the liver and kidney of tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP)-induced oxidative stress male Wistar rats. Rooibos and green tea are beverages well-known for their antioxidant content. Based on the specific beverage consumed, sixty male Wistar rats were randomly assigned into six groups, i.e. fermented rooibos (FRT), unfermented rooibos (URT), Chinese green tea (CGT), rooibos supplement (RTS), Chinese green tea supplement (GTS) and control (CTL). The animals had free access to the respective beverages and standard diet for 10 weeks, while oxidative stress was induced during the last 2 weeks via intraperitoneal injection of 30 μM of t-BHP per 100 g body weight. Among all the beverage and/or supplement preparations, the commercial rooibos supplement had the highest total polyphenol content and antioxidant activity while fermented rooibos, as previously shown, had a lower antioxidant content and potency when compared to its unfermented counterpart. The ability of these beverages and/or supplements to modulate the antioxidant status in tissues was organ specific and varied according to the assessment method. When considering the liver, the intake of unfermented rooibos, Chinese green tea and the commercial rooibos supplement significantly (P<0.05) restored the t-BHP-induced reduction and increased the antioxidant status with regards to oxygen radical absorbance capacity and trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) levels. All the beverages and/or supplements also significantly (P<0.05) enhanced the renal antioxidant capacity as assessed by the TEAC assay. In what may be an indication of decreased oxidative stress, all the beverages were associated with a general decline in activities of the antioxidant enzymes which reached significant levels in renal superoxidase dismutase activity. Generally, the beverages did not impact significantly on lipid peroxidation (LPO) although there were differing trends in the two LPO markers assessed. While thiobarbituric acid reactive substances levels showed a declining trend in both tissues, the conjugated dienes were generally elevated. In conclusion, this study confirms Camellia sinensis and Aspalathus linearis as well as their two supplements as good sources of dietary antioxidants and results demonstrated that rooibos and green tea improved the liver and kidney antioxidant capacity of oxidative stress-induced rats. Their impact on antioxidant status in rats was shown to vary between organs and according to the method of assessment. Hence multi-method, multi-organ assessment may be a more informative approach in in vivo antioxidant studies.