Protein oxidation and glycation are posttranslational modifications that are implicated in the pathological development of many age-related disease processes. This study investigated the effects of green tea extract, and a green tea tannin mixture and its components, on protein damage induced by 2,2'-azobis(2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride (a free radical generator) and glucose in in vitro assay systems. We found that green tea extract can effectively protect against protein damage, and showed that its action is mainly due to tannin. In addition, it was shown that the chemical structures of tannin components are also involved in this activity, suggesting that the presence of the gallate group at the 3 position plays the most important role in the protective activity against protein oxidation and glycation, and that there is also a contribution by the hydroxyl group at the 5' position in the B ring and the sterical structure. These findings demonstrate the mechanisms of the usefulness of green tea in protein oxidation- and glycation-associated diseases.