The bioavailability of the most abundant and most active green tea antioxidant, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) remains uncertain. Therefore, the systemic absorption of EGCG was tested in healthy fasted humans. It was administered as capsules with water or with a light breakfast, or when incorporated within a strawberry sorbet. The results for plasma EGCG clearly revealed that taking EGCG capsules without food was better; the AUC was 2.7 and 3.9 times higher than when EGCG capsules were taken with a light breakfast (p
= 0.044) or with EGCG imbedded in the strawberry sorbet (p
= 0.019), respectively. This pattern was also observed for Cmax
. Therefore, ingesting food at the same time as EGCG, whether it was imbedded or not in food, substantially inhibited the absorption of the catechin. As with some types of medications that are affected by food, it appears that EGCG should be taken without food in order to maximise its systemic absorption. Therefore, based on these findings, ingesting EGCG with water on an empty stomach is the most appropriate method for the oral delivery of EGCG in clinical trials where EGCG is to be investigated as a potential bioactive nutraceutical in humans.
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