British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Metabolism and Metabolic Studies

Consumption of mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) decreases the oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids in mouse liver

Fernanda Martinsa1, Amanda Janaína Suzana1, Suzete Maria Ceruttia2, Demétrius Paiva Arçaria3, Marcelo Lima Ribeiroa3, Débora Helena Markowicz Bastosa4 and Patrícia de Oliveira Carvalhoa1 c1

a1 Laboratório Multidisciplinar de Pesquisa, Universidade São Francisco, Av. São Francisco de Assis 218, Bragança Paulista, SP, Brazil

a2 Laboratório de Plasticidade Neural e Fitoterápicos, Universidade São Francisco, Av. São Francisco de Assis 218, Bragança Paulista, SP, Brazil

a3 Unidade Integrada de Farmacologia e Gastroenterologia, Universidade São Francisco, Av. São Francisco de Assis 218, Bragança Paulista, SP, Brazil

a4 Departamento de Nutrição, Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Av. Dr. Arnaldo 715, Universidade de São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Abstract

Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) is rich in polyphenolic compounds, which are thought to contribute to the health benefits of tea. Mate tea was administered orally to mice at a dose of 0·5, 1·0 or 2·0 g/kg for 60 d, and changes both in serum lipid concentration and fatty acid composition of liver and kidney were examined. The effects of mate tea on serum and tissue lipid peroxidation were assessed by the evaluation of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS). In tea-consuming mice, both MUFA (18 : 1n-9) and PUFA (18 : 2n-6 and 20 : 4n-6) were increased (P < 0·05) in the liver lipid (approximately 90 and 60 %, respectively), whereas only MUFA (approximately 20 %) were increased in the kidney lipid. The most altered PUFA class was n-6 PUFA, which increased by approximately 60–75 % (P < 0·05). This difference in the fatty acid profile in the liver is reflected in the increased PUFA:SFA ratio. Consistent with these results, mice fed with mate tea had much lower TBARS in the liver. No differences (P>0·05) were found in the levels of serum cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and TAG under the conditions of the present study. These results suggest that treatment with mate tea was able to protect unsaturated fatty acids from oxidation and may have selective protective effects within the body, especially on the liver.

(Received December 18 2007)

(Revised April 21 2008)

(Accepted May 23 2008)

(Online publication August 19 2008)

Correspondence:

c1 Corresponding author: Dr Patrícia de Oliveira Carvalho, fax +55 11 40341825, email patcarvalho@saofrancisco.edu.br

Footnotes

Abbreviations: TBARS, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances

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