Skip to main content

Anti Oxidative Effect of Black Tea Theaflavin on Erythrocytes Subjected to Oxidative Stress


Tea (Camellia sinensis) is one of the most popularly consumed beverage worldwide. It is consumed mostly as green tea, oolong, or black tea. Black tea, good source of flavan-3-ols the theaflavins: mixture of theaflavin (TF), theaflavin-3-gallates, theaflavin-3′-gallates and theaflavin-3,3′-digallates, possess numerous biological and therapeutic properties. However, the exact mechanisms underlying these properties of TFs remain speculative. In the present study, we investigated the in vitro protective effect of theaflavin on membrane protein carbonyl group, sulfhydryl group (–SH) and erythrocyte hemolysis in rat. TFs (at micromolar concentration) showed significant antioxidant effect in protecting erythrocytes from oxidation-induced changes.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2


  1. Bandyopadhyay U, Das D, Banerjee RK (1999) Reactive oxygen species, oxidative stress and pathogenesis. Curr Sci 77:658–666

    Google Scholar 

  2. Halliwell B, Gutteridge JM (1986) Oxygen free radicals and iron in relation to biology and medicine: some problems and concepts. Arch Biochem Biophys 246:501–514

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Maridonneau I, Braquet P, Garay RP (1983) Na++and K+transport damage induced by oxygen free radicals in human red cell membranes. J Biol Chem 258:3107–3117

    Google Scholar 

  4. Tsantes AE, Bonovas S, Travlou A, Sitaras NM (2006) Redox imbalance, macrocytosis, and RBC homeostasis. Antioxid Redox Signal 8:1205–1216

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Khan N, Mukhtar H (2007) Tea polyphenols for health promotion. Life Sci 81:519–533

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Rietveld A, Wiseman S (2003) Antioxidant effects of tea: evidence from human clinical trials. J Nutr 133(10):3285S–3292S

    Google Scholar 

  7. Weisburge JH, Fung-Lung C (2002) Mechanisms of chronic disease causation by nutritional factors and tobacco products and prevention by tea polyphenols. Food Chem Toxicol 40:1145–1154

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Fatima M, Rizvi SI (2011) Health beneficial effects of black tea. Biomedicine 31(1):3–8

    Google Scholar 

  9. Marchesi VT, Palade GE (1967) The localization of Mg–Na–K-activated adenosine triphosphatase on red cell ghost membranes. J Cell Biol 35:385–404

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Levine RL, Garland D, Oliver CN, Amici A, Climent I, Lenz AG, Ahn BW, Shaltiel S, Stadtman ER (1990) Determination of carbonyl content in oxidatively modified proteins. Methods Enzymol 186:464–478

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Lowry OH, Rosebrough NJ, Farr AL, Randall RJ (1951) Protein measurement with the folin phenol reagent. J Biol Chem 193:265–275

    Google Scholar 

  12. Kitajima H, Yamaguchi T, Kimoto E (1990) Hemolysis of human erythrocytes under hydrostatic pressure is suppressed by cross-linking of membrane proteins. J Biochem 108(6):1057–1062

    Google Scholar 

  13. Lee MJ, Lambert JD, Prabhu et al (2004) Delivery of tea polyphenols to the oral cavity by green tea leaves and black tea extract. Cancer Detect Prev 13:132–137

    Google Scholar 

  14. Pandey KB, Rizvi SI (2010) Markers of oxidative stress in erythrocytes and plasma during aging in humans. Oxid Med Cell Longev 3:2–12

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Bahorun T, Luximon-Ramma A, Gunness TK et al (2010) Black tea reduces uric acid and C-reactive protein levels in humans susceptible to cardiovascular diseases. Toxicol 278:68–74

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Reglinski J, Hoey S, Smith WE, Sturrock RD (1988) Cellular response to oxidative stress at sulfihydryl group receptor sites on the erythrocyte membrane. J Biol Chem 263(12):360–366

    Google Scholar 

  17. Leung LK, Su Y, Chen R, Zhang Z, Huang Y, Chen ZY (2001) Theaflavins in black tea and catechins in green tea are equally effective antioxidants. J Nutr 13:2248–2251

    Google Scholar 

  18. Yang CS, Chen L, Lee MJ, Balentine D, Kuo MC, Schantz SP (1998) Blood and urine levels of tea catechins after ingestion of different amounts of green tea by human volunteers. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 7:351

    Google Scholar 

  19. Kinlen LJ, Willows AN, Guldblatt P, Yudkin J (1988) Tea consumption and cancer. Br J Cancer 58:397–401

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Stocks P (1970) Cancer mortality in relation to national consumption of cigarettes, solid fuel, tea and coffee. Br J Cancer 24:215–225

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Frei B, Higdon JV (2003) Antioxidant activity of tea polyphenols in vivo: evidence from animal studies. J Nutr 133(10):3275S–3284S

    Google Scholar 

Download references


Mahejabeen Fatima is the recipient of UGC Research fellowship from CRET. This research work was supported by the University Grants Commission, New Delhi, through a research grant (MRP 37-292/2009 SR) to S. I. Rizvi.

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Syed Ibrahim Rizvi.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Fatima, M., Rizvi, S.I. Anti Oxidative Effect of Black Tea Theaflavin on Erythrocytes Subjected to Oxidative Stress. Natl. Acad. Sci. Lett. 38, 25–28 (2015).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Rat
  • Oxidative stress
  • Theaflavin
  • Black tea