Intestinal transport of pure theanine and theanine in green tea extract: Green tea components inhibit theanine absorption and promote theanine excretion
Author: Yaning Lu and Jinsong Zhang and Xiaochun Wan and Men Long and Daxiang Li and Pandeng Lei and Zhengzhu Zhang
Theanine, an amino acid contained in green tea, is known to possess many pharmacological functions. In this paper, we investigated the absorption of theanine in the human intestinal epithelium, using a Caco-2 monolayer model. Different concentrations of either pure theanine or green tea extracts were administered to Caco-2 cells. The theanine content in the samples was analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography, coupled with fluorescence detection. Cell permeation was also measured. The data revealed that the transport of pure theanine occurred in a manner consistent with passive diffusion. Surprisingly, pure theanine showed good absorption, whereas theanine in the green tea extract was poorly absorbed in the Caco-2 cell model. Furthermore, the transport of theanine in green tea extract in the basolateral (BL) to apical (AP) direction was much greater than that in the AP–BL direction, suggesting that green tea components profoundly affect the trans-epithelial transport of theanine in this Caco-2 cell model.