Cover Image

In vivo assessment of possible toxicity risks of green tea extract in mice

Jyoti Gupta*, Mohammad Afzal


There is a general belief that herbs are safer than pharmaceuticals because they are natural. But the fact is, in low amounts, they may be ineffective while in the right amounts, they may prove beneficial. Their use in high quantities and over a prolonged period may be injurious to health. Experiments were conducted to determine the oral lethal dose (LD50). The GTE dose ranges of 100 to 5000 mg/kg body weight was administered orally to the mice and the treated groups were observed continuously for 10 days (acute toxicity). The effects on the weight changes and some biochemical parameters were evaluated. Increase in the body weight of the GTE treated groups was normal. The plasma concentrations of urea, creatinine and SGOT (Serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase) were not much changed as compared to controls. The levels of GSH (Reduced Glutathione), SOD (Superoxide Dismutase) and CAT (Catalase) were found slightly increased in the animals that received the GTE tested doses, but the increase was not significant. Hence the acute toxicity value (LD50) of the GTE was determined to be more than 5000 mg/kg body weight, indicating that it poses no risk to general health of treated animals. But still not more than four cups a day of highly concentrated (up to 3% of green tea extract) may be consumed.


Lethal Dose; Green tea extract; Acute toxicity; Biochemical parameters.

Full Text:



De SaFerrira ICF and Ferrago Vargas VM. Mutagenicity of medicinal plant extracts in Salmonella/microsome assay. Phytotherapy Research. 1999, 13, 397–400.

Ahmad I, Farrukh A, Amad F and Owais M. Herbal Medicines: Prospects and Constraints, In Ahmad I., F. Aqil and M. Owais, Modern Phytomedicine: Turning Medicinal Plants into Drugs. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co., Germany, 2006, 59-78.

Zhu M and Li RC. Oral absorption and bioavailability of tea catechins. Planta Medica. 2000, 66(5), 444-447.

Khan SA, Priyamvada S, Farooq N, Khan S, Khan MW and Yusufi ANK. Protective effect of green tea extract on gentamicin-induced nephrotoxicity and oxidative damage in rat kidney. Pharmacological Research. 2009, 59, 254 –262.

Brod J and Sirota JH. The renal clearance of endogenous "creatinine" in man. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 1948, 27(5), 645–654.

Marsh DJ, Frasier C and Decter J. Measurement of urea concentrations in nanoliter specimens of renal tubular fluid and capillary blood. Anals of Biochemistry. 1965, 11, 73–80.

Moron MS, Depierre JW and Mannervik B. Levels of glutathione, glutathione reductase and glutathione S-transferase activities in rat lung and liver. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 1979, 582(1), 67-78.

Kakkar P, Das B and Viswanathan PN. A modified spectrophotometric assay of superoxide dismutase. Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics. 1984, 21, 130-132.

Luck H. In: Methods in Enzymatic Analysis 2 (Ed Bergmeyer) Academic Press New York, 1974, p 885.

Adelman RD, Spangler WL, Beason F, Ishizaki G and Conzelman GM. Frusemide enhancement of netilmicin nephrotoxicity in dogs. Journal of Antimicrobials and Chemotherapy, 1981, 7, 431-435.

Nwanjo HU, Okafor MC and Oze GO. Changes in biochemical parameters of kidney function in rats co-administered with chloroquine and aspirin. Journal of Clinical Scences. 2005. 23, 10-12.

Kono Y and Fridovich I. Superoxide inhibits catalase. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 1992. 257, 5751-54.

El Daly AA. Effect of Green Tea Extract on the Rat Liver; Histo-architectural, Histochemical and Ultrastructural Studies. Journal of American Science. 2011, 7(5), 65-73.

Galati G, Lin A, Sultan AM and O’Brien PJ. Cellular and in vivo hepatotoxicity caused by green tea phenolic acids and catechins. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 2006, 40, 570–580.

Hodge A and Sterner B. Toxicity classes. In: Canadian center for occupational Health and safety. 2005.

Gupta J, Siddique YH, Beg T, Ara G and Afzal M. A Review on the beneficial effects of tea polyphenols on human health. Int. J. Pharma. 2008. 4(5), 314-338.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2015 International Journal of Bioassays

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

International Journal of Bioassays is a member of the Publishers International Linking Association, Inc. (PILA), CROSSREF and CROSSMARK (USA). Digital Object Identifier (DOI) will be assigned to all its published content.