Phytochemicals, Anti-Inflammatory, Antiproliferative, and Methylglyoxal Trapping Properties of Zijuan Tea

Xiong Gao, Chi Tang Ho, Xiaofei Li, Xiaorong Lin, Yuanyuan Zhang, Zhongzheng Chen, Bin Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Abstract: Zijuan tea (Camellia sinensis var. assamica) is a unique anthocyanin-rich tea cultivar in China. Although chemical component analysis of Zijuan tea and extraction technology of anthocyanins was widely documented, its functional properties have not been extensively explored. In this study, the anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, and methylglyoxal (MGO) trapping activities of water extract (ZWE) and ethyl acetate extract (ZEE) of Zijuan tea were investigated for the 1st time. Results showed that ZWE and ZEE exhibited inhibitory effects on nitric oxide (NO), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and interleukin (IL)-6 production as well as inducible nitric oxide synthase protein (iNOS) expression in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced RAW 264.7 macrophages. Moreover, Zijuan tea extracts exerted stronger antiproliferative activity against HCT-116 cells compared with HepG2 and MDA-MB-231 cells, and thus could induce apoptosis in HCT-116 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, Zijuan tea extracts were effective in trapping MGO under simulated physiological conditions, and the T1/2 (the time for 50% MGO remaining) values of ZWE and ZEE were 3.69 and 6.20 min, respectively. Additionally, the contents of total phenolics and catechins in ZEE were 685.43 ± 16.00 and 454.96 ± 4.21 mg/g extract, respectively, and in ZWE were 422.59 ± 12.09 and 307.29 ± 0.85 mg/g extract, respectively. Therefore, ZEE exhibited better anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, and MGO trapping properties than ZWE may be mainly attributed to its higher (P < 0.05) content of total phenolics, expecially catechins. These results suggest that Zijuan tea could be a potential natural resource for the development of functional tea beverage. Practical Application: This study revealed that Zijuan tea extracts possessed anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, and methylglyoxal trapping potentials in vitro. With high anthocyanins and polyphenols, Zijuan tea can be developed into a healthy tea beverage or used as a natural component to reduce the level of methylglyoxal in Maillard reaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-524
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Food Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science


  • Zijuan tea
  • anthocyanin-rich
  • anti-inflammation
  • anti-proliferation
  • methylglyoxal trapping capacity


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