Theaflavins

Last Updated: August 17 2022

Theaflavins are a group of molecules that are found in black tea (due to an additional fermentation process from green tea) that are said to be the bioactives of black tea.

Theaflavins is most often used for

Summary

Theaflavins are a group of molecules that are created from green tea catechins when heat treatment damages the catechin molecule and they begin to resynthesize in various configurations; Theaflavins are the product of two catechin molecules binding together on the C ring, and similar to catechins can come in various gallated forms (whether there is gallic acid molecules bound to them or not).

Currently, Theaflavins appear to have really poor oral bioavailability and absorption. For systemic effects after absorption, it is likely that the bioactivity of Theaflavins (which is present) is due to a metabolite that is not Theaflavins. For most evidence outside of the gastrointestinal tract (mouth to anus), the molecule of Theaflavins per se may not be relevant unless below the 1 nanomolar range.

For effects within the gastrointestinal tract, Theaflavins appear to have promising anti-ulceration and oral cavity health properties that should be active at the concentrations found in black tea. Either black tea or supplementation also appears to reduce the absorption of fatty acids, cholesterol, and starches from the intestinal tract which can reduce nutrient absorption quantities (and secondary to inhibiting starch absorption, there may be some probiotic effects similar to dietary fiber).

What else is Theaflavins known as?
Theaflavins should not be confused with:
  • L-Theanine (a similar sounding compound also found in tea)
Dosage information

Theaflavins for purposes that do not require absorption (oral health, stomach ulceration, intestinal or colonic interactions) can have bioactivity in the doses found in Black Tea (this may also be advisable as the capsule of a supplement would need to break for it to influence the stomach or oral cavity)

There is currently no evidence to support the best oral dose of supplementation, although studies tend to use 700mg of Theaflavins once a day (this is said to be 30 cups of Black Tea, but that is a variable claim due to varying levels of Theaflavins in Black Tea to start)

Currently no evidence to support the best time of day or manner to take Theaflavin supplementation, although if using it for the purposes of hindering fat or carbohydrate absorption it would need to be taken alongside a meal containing those nutrients.

Examine Database
References
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