Mechanisms of hypolipidemic and anti-obesity effects of tea and tea polyphenols

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2006 Feb;50(2):211-7. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200500138.


Among the health-promoting effects of tea and tea polyphenols, the cancer-chemopreventive effects in various animal model systems have been intensively investigated; meanwhile, the hypolipidemic and antiobesity effects in animals and humans have also become a hot issue for molecular nutrition and food research. It has been demonstrated that the body weights of rats and their plasma triglyceride, cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol have been significantly reduced by feedings of oolong, black, pu-erh, and green tea leaves to the animals. It has been suggested that the inhibition of growth and suppression of lipogenesis in MCF-7 breast cancer cells may be through down-regulation of fatty acid synthase gene expression in the nucleus and stimulation of cell energy expenditure in the mitochondria. The experimental data indicated that the molecular mechanisms of fatty acid synthase gene suppression by tea polyphenols (EGCG, theaflavins) may invite down-regulation of EGFR/PI3K/Akt/Sp-1 signal transduction pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control
  • Body Weight
  • Camellia sinensis
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Diet
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Fatty Acid Synthases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Flavonoids / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / prevention & control
  • Hyperlipidemias / therapy*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Phenols / administration & dosage*
  • Plant Leaves
  • Polyphenols
  • Tea / chemistry*


  • Flavonoids
  • Lipids
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols
  • Tea
  • Fatty Acid Synthases