Metabonomics approach to determine metabolic differences between green tea and black tea consumption

J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Sep 6;54(18):6929-38. doi: 10.1021/jf061016x.


The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of black and green tea consumption on human metabolism. Seventeen healthy male volunteers consumed black tea, green tea, or caffeine in a randomized crossover study. Twenty-four-hour urine and blood plasma samples were analyzed by NMR-based metabonomics, that is, high-resolution 1H NMR metabolic profiling combined with multivariate statistics. Green and black tea consumption resulted in similar increases in urinary excretion of hippuric acid and 1,3-dihydroxyphenyl-2-O-sulfate, both of which are end products of tea flavonoid degradation by colonic bacteria. Several unidentified aromatic metabolites were detected in urine specifically after green tea intake. Interestingly, green and black tea intake also had a different impact on endogenous metabolites in urine and plasma. Green tea intake caused a stronger increase in urinary excretion of several citric acid cycle intermediates, which suggests an effect of green tea flavanols on human oxidative energy metabolism and/or biosynthetic pathways.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Caffeine
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Flavonoids / metabolism
  • Flavonoids / pharmacokinetics
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / urine
  • Food Handling / methods
  • Hippurates / urine
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Metabolism* / drug effects
  • Odorants / analysis
  • Phenols / urine
  • Tea* / chemistry


  • 1,3-dihydroxyphenyl-2-O-sulfate
  • Flavonoids
  • Hippurates
  • Phenols
  • Tea
  • Caffeine
  • hippuric acid