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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 167-172

Acute and sub-chronic oral toxicity study of black tea in rodents

1 Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Scientist, Chemistry Division, Quality Testing Laboratory (AYUSH), Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Vivekananda University, Narendrapur, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Suparna Chatterjee
Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata, West Bengal
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Source of Support: Tea Board of India (Grant number RL/33(167)2010/Part-V) (Project protocol ID: SC/TEA BOARD/2011-2012). We gratefully acknowledge Dr. Uttara Chatterjee, Department of Pathology, IPGME&R, Kolkata, India, for her assistance in histopathological examinations and Dr. Surupa Basu, Biochemist, Institute of Child Health, Kolkata, India for her assistance in special biochemical estimations., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.153423

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Objectives: Systematic oral toxicity study for black tea (Camellia sinensis), the most commonly consumed variety of tea, is lacking. The present study was undertaken to assess the iron load on black tea (Camellia sinensis) and its safety aspects in animals. Materials and Methods: The analysis of iron was done in six tea samples as per American Public Health Association method using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Maximum physical iron-loaded tea sample was identified on black tea sample 2 (BTS-2), and this was further studied for acute and 90-day sub-chronic toxicity following Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development guidelines. Results: Black tea sample 2 did not show any signs of toxicity or mortality at up to 2 g/kg per oral dose in Swiss albino mice. 90-day toxicity studies in Wistar rats did not reveal any evidence of toxicity at up to 250 mg/kg/day (2.5% infusion of BTS-2) oral dose as exhibited by regular observations, body weight, food consumption, hematology, serum chemistry, organ weights, and histopathology. Further, serum iron, total iron binding capacity, unsaturated iron binding capacity, and ferritin were not altered after 90 days of treatment. Masson trichrome staining and Perls' staining did not reveal any abnormalities in hepatic tissue following 90-day treatment of high iron-loaded BTS-2. Conclusions: This safety study provides evidence that BTSs, in spite of relatively high iron content, show no significant iron-related toxicity on acute or sub-chronic oral administration in animals.


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