We investigated the effects of extracts of Benifuuki (a tea cultivar that contains methylated catechins such as epigallocatechin-3-O-(3-O-methyl) gallate (EGCG3"Me)) in mice fed a high-fat/high-sucrose (HF/HS) diet. This tea cultivar was then compared with an extract of Yabukita (a popular tea cultivar that lacks methylated catechins). For 6 weeks, C57BL/6J mice were fed either HF/HS diet with or without tea extracts from tea cultivars, which contained almost identical ingredients except for methylated catechins (i.e., Yabukita (0.2% and 1%) or Benifuuki (0.2% and 1%) extract powders). Supplementation with Benifuuki 0.2% markedly lowered plasma levels of TG and NEFAs compared with mice supplemented with Yabukita 0.2%. The diet containing Benifuuki 1% decreased adipose tissue weights, liver TG, and expression of lipogenic genes in the liver. These results suggested that Benifuuki had much greater lipid-lowering effects than Yabukita. Taken together, these data suggest that methylated catechins direct the strong lipid-lowering activity of Benifuuki.
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