Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea known for its high antioxidant content and its purported use in managing several conditions such as obesity, diabetes and ageing. In this study oolong tea was analysed for its phytochemical composition, nutrient composition, antioxidant properties and its effect on selected rat organs and tissues. The extract was found to contain several phytochemicals with phenol (157.84 ?g GAE/mg), flavonoids (158.15 ?g GAE/mg) and tannins (343.3 ?g GAE/mg) present in high concentration. The result of proximate analysis showed that most of the oolong tea is crude fibre (45%) with very low moisture content (4%). Antioxidant enzyme assay showed high level of total antioxidant activity and DPPH free radical scavenging activity with the highest activity at 25% concentration in both. Daily administration of extract to rats led to a decrease in the lipid profile of the test rats relative to control; also there was decrease in the glucose level of test rats relative to control. In vivo antioxidant enzyme assay showed a lower level of the antioxidants,
GSH, SOD and Catalase in the test rats compared to control with a higher level of MDA suggesting increased lipid peroxidation in test rats. Liver function test revealed a lower level of liver function enzymes in the test rats suggesting improved liver function in the test rats probably due to the effect of the antioxidants in the extract. In conclusion, the oolong was well tolerated in vivo and gave indications of possible use as a hypoglycaemic and hypolipidemic agent.
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Author Name: Ngozi Awa Imaga and Seyon Hunga
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Keywords: Oolong tea, Phytochemicals, Lipid Profile, Antioxidants, Liver Function Test.