Green tea catechins and their metabolites in human skin before and after exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Kayleigh A. Clarke, Tristan P. Dew, Rachel Watson, Mark Farrar, Joanne Osman, Anna Nicolaou, Lesley Rhodes, G Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Downloads (Pure)


Dietary flavonoids may protect against sunburn inflammation in skin. Preliminary reports using less complete analysis suggest that certain catechins and their metabolites are found in skin biopsies and blister fluid after consumption of green tea; however, it is not known if they are affected by solar-simulated ultraviolet radiation (UVR) or whether conjugated forms, with consequently altered bioactivity, are present. The present study tested the hypothesis that UVR affects the catechin levels in the skin of healthy volunteers after consumption of green tea and how catechins in the plasma are related to their presence in skin tissue samples. In an open oral intervention study, 11 subjects consumed green tea and vitamin C supplements daily for 3 months. Presupplementation and postsupplementation plasma samples, suction blister fluid and skin biopsies were collected; the latter two samples were collected both before and after UVR. A sensitive high-performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometric assay was used to measure the intact catechin metabolites, conjugates and free forms. Seven green tea catechins and their corresponding metabolites were identified postsupplementation in skin biopsies, 20 in blister fluid and 26 in plasma, with 15 green tea catechin metabolites present in both blister fluid and plasma. The valerolactone, O-methyl-M4-O-sulfate, a gut microbiota metabolite of catechins, was significantly increased 1.6-fold by UVR in blister fluid samples. In conclusion, there were some common catechin metabolites in the plasma and blister fluid, and the concentration was always higher in plasma. The results suggest that green tea catechins and metabolites are bioavailable in skin and provide a novel link between catechin metabolites derived from the skin and gut microbiota.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-210
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • Bioavailability
  • Green tea catechin conjugates
  • Polyphenols
  • Skin
  • Ultraviolet radiation


Dive into the research topics of 'Green tea catechins and their metabolites in human skin before and after exposure to ultraviolet radiation.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this