Green tea and black tea inhibit colon carcinogenesis in rats exposed to the cooked meat-derived mutagen 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4, 5-f]quinoline (IQ). The present study compared the inhibitory activities of green tea and black tea towards a direct-acting mutagenic metabolite of IQ, namely 2-hydroxyamino-3-methylimidazo[4, 5-f]quinoline (N-hydroxy-IQ), under various brewing conditions. The following observations were made: (a) green tea (Sencha midoriiro) and black tea (English Breakfast tea) brewed at concentrations of 1. 25%, 2.5% or 5.0% (w/v) dose-relatedly inhibited the mutagenic activity of N-hydroxy-IQ in the Salmonella assay, (b) most of the antimutagenic components were released from the teas within 1-2 min of brewing, (c) under identical brewing conditions, green tea was significantly more effective than black tea, and (d) fractionation of green tea by HPLC revealed that most of the antimutagenic activity co-eluted with the compounds epigallocatechin (EGC) and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), both of which are known for their anti-oxidant properties. These results suggest that catechins in tea might protect against such diverse reactive intermediates as free radicals and electrophiles formed during the metabolic activation of carcinogens and mutagens.
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