Sun Nov 30 11:56:28 PST 2008

Kaempferol - A Green Tea Constituent

Green tea is increasingly popular in the United States and Europe. A cup of green tea contains three times less caffeine than a cup of coffee and green tea's mild flavor provides little temptation for the addition of calories in the form of cream and sugar. And, like many products in need of a marketing boost, green tea has been the subject of a wide array of claimed health benefits.

Many of the green tea health claims revolve around polyphenols such a kaempferol which is the shown in image below. Kaempferol is a flavonoid found in many plants. Indeed, interestingly, kaempferol is present in black tea in similar quantities to those seen in green tea, so if kaempferol is indeed responsible for health benefits, these should be observed with black tea as well.


The kaempferol molecule possess delocalized bonding like that seen in benzene and many oxygen centers (shown in red in the image). With these attributes, the molecule is able to absorb electrons from free radicals and prevent the free radicals from causing chain reactions of broken bonds within a cell. This anti-oxidant property may be the origin of the beneficial properties of kaempferol, if indeed these are scientifically confirmed.

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