Green Tea Catechins Decrease Solubility of Raloxifene In Vitro and Its Systemic Exposure in Mice

Pharm Res. 2024 Mar;41(3):557-566. doi: 10.1007/s11095-024-03662-w. Epub 2024 Feb 1.


Purpose: Green tea is a widely consumed beverage. A recent clinical study reported green tea decreased systemic exposure of raloxifene and its glucuronide metabolites by 34-43%. However, the underlying mechanism(s) remains unknown. This study investigated a change in raloxifene's solubility as the responsible mechanism.

Methods: The effects of green tea extract, (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC) on raloxifene's solubility were assessed in fasted state simulated intestinal fluids (FaSSIF) and fed state simulated intestinal fluids (FeSSIF). EGCG and EGC represent green tea's main bioactive constituents, flavan-3-gallate and flavan-3-ol catechins respectively, and the tested concentrations (mM) match the µg/mg of each compound in the extract. Our mouse study (n = 5/time point) evaluated the effect of green tea extract and EGCG on the systemic exposure of raloxifene.

Results: EGCG (1 mM) and EGC (1.27 mM) decreased raloxifene's solubility in FaSSIF by 78% and 13%, respectively. Micelle size in FaSSIF increased with increasing EGCG concentrations (> 1000% at 1 mM), whereas EGC (1.27 mM) did not change micelle size. We observed 3.4-fold higher raloxifene solubility in FeSSIF compared to FaSSIF, and neither green tea extract nor EGCG significantly affected raloxifene solubility or micelle size in FeSSIF. The mice study showed that green tea extract significantly decreased raloxifene Cmax by 44%, whereas EGCG had no effect. Green tea extract and EGCG did not affect the AUC0-24 h of raloxifene or the metabolite-to-parent AUC ratio.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated flavan-3-gallate catechins may decrease solubility of poorly water-soluble drugs such as raloxifene, particularly in the fasted state.

Keywords: absorption; green tea; intestine; pharmacokinetics; solubility.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants
  • Catechin* / analysis
  • Catechin* / metabolism
  • Catechin* / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Micelles
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Raloxifene Hydrochloride / pharmacology
  • Solubility
  • Tea*


  • Tea
  • Catechin
  • Raloxifene Hydrochloride
  • Micelles
  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts