Suppression of Plasma Uric Acid by Inhibiting Xanthine Oxidase

Several pu-erh tea consumers have claimed that drinking pu-erh tea, especially aged pu-erh tea, can attenuate the pain of gout at the bone joint . The mechanism of this interesting clinical effect of pu-erh tea may come from the inhibitory effects of tea polyphenols on the uric acid-generating enzyme xanthine oxidase (XO) . The inhibitory effects of six tea polyphenols, namely, theaflavin (TF1), theaflavin-3-gallate (TF2), theaflavin-3,3'-digallate (TF3), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), gallic acid, and propyl gallate, on XO have been investigated 11 These six antioxidant compounds reduce oxidative stress in HL-60 cells . Theaflavins and EGCG inhibit XO to produce uric acid and also act as scavengers of superoxide TF3 acts as a competitive inhibitor and is the most potent inhibitor of XO among these compounds . It has been shown that pu-erh tea contains different levels of theaflavins, thearubigins, and higher polymerized catechins Therefore, pu-erh tea is expected to inhibit the XO activity through its polyphenol constituents

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