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Comparative antidiabetic effects and mechanisms of actions of five Chinese and South African indigenous teas.

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The present thesis assessed the in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo anti-oxidative and antidiabetic activities of five teas which are widely consumed in China or South Africa. Three of the selected five teas are from South Africa, namely red rooibos (Aspalathus linearis), green rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) and red honeybush (Cyclopia genistoides) tea. The remaining two from China are jasmine green (Camellia sinensis) and zhengshanxiaozhong (ZSXZ) black tea (Camellia sinensis). The different sequential solvent extracts following increasing polarity index (dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, ethanol, and water) and hot water extract of different teas were evaluated at in vitro and ex vivo conditions for their antioxidant properties, inhibitory potentials on α-glucosidase, α-amylase and pancreatic lipase, effects on ameliorating Fe2+- induced oxidative pancreatic or hepatic injury, as well as the glucose absorption inhibition in small intestine and the glucose uptake stimulation in isolated psoas muscle of rats. Possible bioactive components responsible for the activities of the extracts were identified by using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis or liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis. In vitro and ex vivo tests presented promising antioxidant and antidiabetic activities of these five teas. The red honeybush, jasmine green and green rooibos teas, were further subjected to an in vivo intervention trial in a fructose-streptozotocin (STZ) induced T2D model of Sprague-Dawley rats. Assays were carried out to reveal the effects of these teas on lowering blood glucose level, improving oral glucose tolerance ability, stimulating insulin secretion and hepatic glycogen synthesis and ameliorating some diabetes related parameters such as serum lipid profile, hepatic and renal function tests and calculated insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), β-cell function (HOMA-β) from the blood glucose and serum insulin data. Furthermore, in vivo oxidative stress markers such as reduced glutathione, superoxide dismutase and catalase activity and lipid peroxidation were analysed in harvested organs (liver, kidney, heart and pancreas). The results of in vivo tests demonstrated that high dose of jasmine green tea showing the best activity followed by the high dose of red honeybush tea, low dose of jasmine green tea, high dose of green rooibos tea, low dose of red honeybush tea, when lowest activity was observed for the low dose green rooibos tea. The results of this study indicated promising anti-T2D properties of the above-mentioned teas. However, further clinical trials are needed to ascertain the results of these in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo studies.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.