Policosanol (PC) is a mixture of health promoting bioactive long-chain aliphatic alcohols. Here, we report that green tea (Camellia sinensis) leaves are the exceptionally rich plant-sources of PC. Young and tender leaves and old and turf leaves of C. sinensis were hand-picked in spring and autumn. The total contents of PC in the leaves were in the range of 726.2-1363.6mg/kg as determined by a GC-MS/MS. The compositions of PC in the leaves were different with harvest season and types. The total contents of PC in commercial green tea leaves were found to be in the range of 856.7-1435.1mg/kg. Interestingly, the infused green tea leaves contained the higher PC than the non-infused green tea product, reaching to 1629.4mg/kg. This represents the first report on the contents and compositions of PC in green tea leaves, showing unambiguous evidence of their potential as rich sources of PC.
Keywords: Camellia sinensis leaves; GC–tandem mass spectrometry; Green tea; Infusion; Policosanols.
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