Effect of herbal teas on conjugation reactions in a human colon carcinoma cell line, Caco-2

Shigeaki Okamura, Hiro Omi Tamura

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We examined the effect of herbal teas (including black and green teas) on conjugation reactions within a human colon carcinoma cell line, Caco-2. After adding herbal tea to the culture medium of Caco-2 cells, accumulation of 1-naphthyl sulfate and glucuronide was determined within the medium by analytical HPLC prior to 24 hr. A reduction in sulfoconjugation (< 50% of the control value) was observed in cells treated with 5% solutions of green tea, jasmine tea or black tea. Mild induction of sulfoconjugation (20-30%) was detected in cells exposed to 5% solutions of hibiscus or lemongrass tea. In addition, a slight reduction (20-30%) in glucuronic acid conjugation (glucuronidation) was observed in cells treated with rose red, peppermint, lavender or St. John's wort. At low concentrations, ranging from 0.1-1.0%, several herbal teas resulted in weak but significant induction (10-20%) of both types of conjugation reactions. These results suggest that herbal teas modify conjugation reactions within intestinal epithelial cells, thereby potentially affecting the bioavailability and toxicity of therapeutic drugs and environmental chemicals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-192
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Health Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Apr 1



  • Caco-2
  • Glucuronidation
  • Herbal tea
  • Sulfoconjugation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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