Exposure and toxicity of green tea polyphenols in fasted and non-fasted dogs

Toxicology. 2009 Jun 16;260(1-3):28-36. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2009.03.007. Epub 2009 Mar 24.


Standardized green tea extract was evaluated for exposure and toxicity in Beagle dogs following oral dosing by capsules. The main component (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) accounted for 56-72% of the material. A 9-month chronic study (0, 200, 500, and 1000 mg/kg/day) was done in fasted dogs to take advantage of the reported improved catechin bioavailability with fasting. Extensive morbidity, mortality, and pathology of many major organs led to its early termination at 6.5 months and prevented identification of the toxicity mechanisms. A follow-up 13-week study examined the exposure to and toxicity of the extract. In general, toxicities were less severe than in the chronic study during the same interval. Dosing in a fed state resulted in considerably lower and less variable exposure than found under fasted conditions. Toxicity was less frequent and of lesser severity with lower exposure but limited sample size and large variability prevented reaching that definitive conclusion. Differences in mortality and morbidity between the preliminary terminated chronic and follow-up subchronic studies with the same dose of the same drug lot and similar exposure were not fully resolved as there may be other as yet unclear confounding factors.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Animals
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Bilirubin / blood
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Dogs / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / pharmacokinetics*
  • Flavonoids / toxicity*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Food Deprivation
  • Globulins / metabolism
  • Histamine / blood
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Male
  • Phenols / pharmacokinetics*
  • Phenols / toxicity*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacokinetics*
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity
  • Polyphenols
  • Tea / chemistry*


  • Flavonoids
  • Globulins
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols
  • Tea
  • Histamine
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Bilirubin