WEST LAFAYETTE, IN Ascorbic acid and sugar added to green tea can help the body absorb helpful catechins found in the tea, U.S. researchers said.
Mario Ferruzzi of Purdue University adapted a digestion model with human intestinal cells to show that adding ascorbic acid — vitamin C — to green tea would increase the absorbability of catechins found in the tea. Catechins — a class of polyphenols common in tea, cocoa and grape — are anti-oxidants thought to fight heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and other health problems.
Ferruzzi and colleagues demonstrated that adding ascorbic acid or sucrose, or both together, increases by as much as three times the amount of catechins that can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
“This model may be used as a pre-emptive screening tool at very little cost before you do expensive tests on animals or humans,” Ferruzzi said in a statement. “If you want to get human screening off the ground, it takes months. If you want to use this model, it takes hours.”
The findings were published in the early online edition of the journal Food Research International.