Pediatr Int. 2009 Mar 27. [Epub ahead of print]
Studies of anti-inflammatory effects of Rooibos tea in rats.
Baba H, Ohtsuka Y, Haruna H, Lee T, Nagata S, Maeda M, Yamashiro Y, Shimizu T. Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Division of Probiotics Research, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
Background: Rooibos tea is known to be caffeine free with abundant flavonoids. Aspalathin and nothofagin, the main flavonoids contained in Rooibos tea, have stronger anti-oxidative activity than other flavonoids. Since oxidative stress can induce inflammation, anti-inflammatory effects of Rooibos tea were investigated using rat colitis model.
Methods: 7 weeks old Wister rats were divided into two groups; one with Rooibos tea given, and one with water given. After four weeks of breeding, serum superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels were determined by the Electron Spin Resonance analysis. Urine 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) concentrations were also determined as reflections of DNA damage by ELISA. Furthermore, rats were administrated dextran sodium sulfate (DDS), which is known to induce colitis in rodents, with or without Rooibos tea to evaluate its anti-inflammatory activity. Clinical symptoms, hemoglobin, serum iron and SOD levels were compared between the groups.
Results: There were no significant differences in body weight gain and laboratory data among each group. The serum SOD levels were significantly increased, and urine 8-OHdG levels were significantly decreased in Rooibos group comparison with controls (p<0.05 in each). After DSS administration, the serum SOD levels were significantly higher in Rooibos group compared to controls (p<0.05). As a result, decreased hemoglobin level, observed in control group, was prevented in Rooibos group after the DSS challenge.
Conclusion: Rooibos tea may prevent host from DNA damage and inflammation by its anti-oxidative activity in vivo. Since Rooibos tea is free from caffeine, routine intake may be safe and useful in reducing oxidative stress in children.
PMID: 19419525 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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