Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 53, Issue 1–3, pp 27–43 | Cite as

Black tea, green tea, and tea polyphenols

Effects on trace element status in weanling rats
  • Ian R. Record
  • Jennifer K. McInerney
  • Ivor E. Dreosti
Original Articles


Previous studies have shown that tea consumption can impair trace element metabolism, particularly iron status, and increase the risk of anemia in humans and animals. More recently, however, evidence has been accumulating to show that, in animals, consumption of green tea or its polyphenols is associated with a reduction of the incidence and severity of a variety of experimentally induced cancers. In this study we have monitored the growth, trace element status, including hematological parameters of weanling rats given either (1) water, (2) 1% black tea, (3) 1% green, tea, or (4) 0.2% crude green tea extract as their sole drinking fluid while consuming diets containing either adequate or low amounts of iron. With the exception of manaanese, none of the trace elements studied (iron, copper, zinc, and manganese) or the hematological indices measured were affected by the type of beverage supplied, even though the polyphenol extract was shown to chelate metals in vitro and all the animals fed the low iron diet were shown to be anemic. There appeared to be an effect of black and green teas on manganese balance in, both the first and last weeks of the study. A lower level of brain managanese was associated with green tea consumption, and a higher level of this element in the kidneys of animals fed black tea. The results demonstrate that both black and green teas and a green tea polyphenol extract do not represent a risk to animals consuming the beverages as their sole fluid intake with respect to iron availability, although the interactions with manganese deserve further study.

Index Entries

Tea polyphenols trace element status antioxidants rats 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian R. Record
    • 1
  • Jennifer K. McInerney
    • 1
  • Ivor E. Dreosti
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIRO Division of Human NutritionAdelaide

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