Objective: To examine in mice the acute effects of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a green tea bioactive polyphenol on substrate metabolism with focus on the fate of dietary lipids.
Methods: Male C57BL/6 mice were fed high-fat diets supplemented with EGCG extracted from green tea (TEAVIGO, DSM Nutritional Products Ltd, Basel, Switzerland) at different dosages up to 1% (w/w). Effects of EGCG on body composition (quantitative magnetic resonance), food intake and digestibility, oxidation and incorporation of exogenous lipids (stable isotope techniques: (13)C-labeled palmitate and diet supplemented with corn oil as a natural source of (13)C-enriched lipids) as well as gene expression (quantitative real-time PCR) in liver and intestinal mucosa were investigated.
Results: Short-term supplementation (4-7 days) of dietary EGCG increased energy excretion, while food and energy intake were not affected. Fecal energy loss was accompanied by increased fat and nitrogen excretion. EGCG decreased post-prandial triglyceride and glycogen content in liver, increased oxidation of dietary lipids and decreased incorporation of dietary 13C-enriched lipids into fat tissues, liver and skeletal muscle. EGCG dose dependently reversed high-fat diet-induced effects on intestinal substrate transporters (CD36, FATP4 and SGLT1) and downregulated lipogenesis-related genes (ACC, FAS and SCD1) in liver in the post-prandial state.
Conclusions: Anti-obesity effects of EGCG can be explained by a decreased food digestibility affecting substrate metabolism of intestinal mucosa and liver, leading to increased post-prandial fat oxidation and reduced incorporation of dietary lipids into tissues.