A Randomized Controlled Trial of Green Tea Beverages on the in vivo Radical Scavenging Activity in Human Skin

Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2017;30(5):225-233. doi: 10.1159/000477355. Epub 2017 Jul 20.


Background: Oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of various skin diseases. Thus, the antioxidant network of the skin relies on the uptake of exogenous antioxidants to ensure cell protection against radical formation. Green tea is one of the main sources of polyphenolic antioxidant compounds, but only few data are available on its cutaneous antioxidant effects.

Methods: The radical scavenging properties of Benifuuki and Yabukita green tea were investigated in the human skin. Thirty-two participants who met the inclusion criteria were randomized to consume 3 cups per day of either Benifuuki tea, Yabukita tea, or water (control group) for 2 weeks. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy was applied to measure the radical scavenging capacity of the skin in vivo before and after the intervention.

Results: Both Yabukita and Benifuuki tea led to an increase in the radical scavenging activity of the skin by 28 and 29%, respectively, and the difference was significant when compared to the control group. Benifuuki tea, previously reported to be superior in bioavailability due to a highly absorbable methylated catechin, did not prove to be more effective than the common Yabukita tea.

Conclusion: The results show that green tea enhances the radical scavenging capacity of the skin and support the hypothesis that green tea may offer protection against cutaneous oxidative stress.

Keywords: Antioxidants; Electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy; Free radicals; Green tea; Oxidative stress; Polyphenols; Resonance Raman spectroscopy.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Carotenoids / metabolism
  • Female
  • Free Radicals / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lycopene
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Pilot Projects
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman
  • Tea*
  • Young Adult


  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radicals
  • Tea
  • Carotenoids
  • Lycopene