Effects of consumption of rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) and a rooibos-derived commercial supplement on hepatic tissue injury by tert-butyl hydroperoxide in Wistar rats

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2014;2014:716832. doi: 10.1155/2014/716832. Epub 2014 Mar 11.


This study investigated the antioxidative effect of rooibos herbal tea and a rooibos-derived commercial supplement on tert-butyl hydroperoxide- (t-BHP-) induced oxidative stress in the liver. Forty male Wistar rats consumed fermented rooibos, unfermented rooibos, a rooibos-derived commercial supplement, or water for 10 weeks, while oxidative stress was induced during the last 2 weeks via intraperitoneal injection of 30 µmole of t-BHP per 100 g body weight. None of the beverages impaired the body weight gain of the respective animals. Rats consuming the rooibos-derived commercial supplement had the highest (P < 0.05) daily total polyphenol intake (169 mg/day) followed by rats consuming the unfermented rooibos (93.4 mg/day) and fermented rooibos (73.1 mg/day). Intake of both the derived supplement and unfermented rooibos restored the t-BHP-induced reduction and increased (P < 0.05) the antioxidant capacity status of the liver, while not impacting on lipid peroxidation. The rooibos herbal tea did not affect the hepatic antioxidant enzymes, except fermented rooibos that caused a decrease (P < 0.05) in superoxide dismutase activity. This study confirms rooibos herbal tea as good dietary antioxidant sources and, in conjunction with its many other components, offers a significantly enhanced antioxidant status of the liver in an induced oxidative stress situation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Aspalathus / chemistry*
  • Beverages*
  • Body Weight
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Polyphenols / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • tert-Butylhydroperoxide


  • Antioxidants
  • Polyphenols
  • tert-Butylhydroperoxide