Analysis of Tea Polyphenols (44377A)

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Tea is the most highly consumed beverage in the world, other than water. However, unlike water, tea contains substantial amounts of polyphenols that have unique biological activities and may be responsible for many of the health benefits of tea. As a result, it is essential to be able to measure the various tea-associated polyphenols. Total polyphenol content is currently measured by using methodology based on reducing activity. Several HPLC systems with detectors that, collectively, have wide ranges in sensitivity have been developed for analysis of individual flavonoids in tea and biological samples, and for theaflavins in tea. Catechins also have been measured in plasma by solid phase extraction, addition of a chromophore, and colorimetric quantification. Except for theaflavins in tea, routine and robust methods for the measurement of polyphenol condensation products (dimers and thearubigens) in tea and biological samples have not been developed. Although in vitro and animal studies suggest substantial metabolism of flavonoids in the gastrointestinal tract, only a single HPLC procedure has been assembled for monitoring the metabolic products of quercetin in urine of human subjects.

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