Pu-Erh & ability to inhibit cholesterol (study)


One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

Pu-Erh & ability to inhibit cholesterol (study)

Postby silverneedles » Jan 30th, '09, 16:17

Food Chemistry 111 (2008) 67–71
Polyphenol contents of Pu-Erh teas and their abilities to inhibit cholesterol biosynthesis in Hep G2 cell line
Chi-Hua Lu, Lucy Sun Hwang


Thirty samples of Pu-Erh tea (a microbial fermented Chinese tea) were collected and assayed for cholesterol synthesis inhibitory activity and polyphenol composition. All samples were able to inhibit the cholesterol biosynthesis in Hep G2 cell model and the inhibition ratios ranged from 7% to 35%.

compared to inhibitory ability of lovastatin, the polyphenol's Relative potency was:

Lovastatin 100

Gallic acid...0.52
C...............0.20
GCG...........0.69
EC..............0.14
ECG...........0.53
EGC...........0.42
EGCG.........0.65
Myricetin.....0.38
Quercetin....0.36

They used puerh that was "green-tea-like", "fermented", "post-processed"(wet storage)
"Green-tea-like" (sheng or maocha?) had the highest inhibitory effect they say, because it had more polyphenol content.

Preparation of tea extracts: pu erh was ground to powder, extracted with boiling water for 5 min ... mmmm... delicious puerh matcha?
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Postby Salsero » Jan 30th, '09, 17:20

Cool, Silverneedles. Thanks for sharing. Contrary to traditional wisdom, this study seems to suggest that young sheng is better for you than old sheng ... at least in its ability to inhibit cholesterol. And those number looks pretty high. I wonder if the small amounts that we consume would so closely approximate the effect of Lovastatin?

I'm not so sure that I would be willing to start using their preparation method, but maybe 10 infusions would extract most of the good stuff.
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Postby Drax » Jan 30th, '09, 18:19

Ah, those numbers may not be as high as you think, unless it's a typo...

Is Lovastatin supposed to be 100? Or 1.00? If it really is 100 (i.e. 100.) then all those things there are less than 100 times effective than Lovastatin.

It is interesting that the bigger effect came from the younger tea. I wonder what other properties might increase with age?

Although, I have to admit, they pulverized it and extracted it with boiling water for 5 minutes (that would be constantly boiling water) -- which is nowhere near the thoroughness of extraction you get with normal brewing.

I'd be interested to see what the extraction differences of whole tea with 15 sequential extractions vice powdered tea with constant boiling water for 5 minutes would be...
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Postby Salsero » Jan 30th, '09, 20:01

Oh, dear. Is that what the decimal means? :oops:
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Re: Pu-Erh & ability to inhibit cholesterol (study)

Postby Wesli » Jan 30th, '09, 22:33

silverneedles wrote:Preparation of tea extracts: pu erh was ground to powder, extracted with boiling water for 5 min

That's what I hate about lots of tea research. They make extracts that have very little in common with the tea we actually ingest.

On the other hand, maybe they're suggesting a new brewing method? Mmmmmm....
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Personal experience with cholesterol reduction

Postby JAS-eTea Guy » Feb 1st, '09, 11:56

I had moderately hign cholesterol and my doctor put me on a statin drug (lipitor). My cholesterol was in an acceptable range but I was not pleased with taking the drug. I started drinking green, white, and pu-erh teas. Within about six months, I had to go in for a physical. My cholesterol was down from 195 (wiith the statin drug) to 160. My HDL levels were over 50. My LDL levels were down. At first, I thought this was a fluke of the testing. When I had to have blood test again in 6 months due to a medical condition, my cholesterol was down to 145 and my HDL levels were even higher. I have since been tested about 4 additional times and my cholesterol has not exceeded 150 and has been as low as 130. I have worked with the doctor to remove the statin drug and levels remain constant.

To make a long story short, it would appear that most of this change has been attributable to my increased tea drinking since my other habits have not changed.
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Postby shogun89 » Feb 1st, '09, 15:01

Dosent have to do with cholesterol but it may interest some. I have been doing mass weight training for about 3 months now, So pretty much purposing taking in tons of calories and protein in order to gain muscle mass. I have noticed that when I drink puerh often my weight will go unchanged. If I then stop for about a week of 2 I will gain a few pounds. So I think there is some truth to puerh and weight loss. So I have been going light on the puerh for a while now. Just something I've been noticing, dont take my word on it though.
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