Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) ameliorates the CCl4-induced injury to mitochondrial respiratory function and energy production in rat liver.
Gen Physiol Biophys. 2019 Jan ;38(1):15-25. Epub 2019 Jan 18. PMID: 30657457
The rooibos tea (RT) is a source of valuable dietary dihydrochalcones aspalathin, and nothofagin and other polyphenols. Many in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that RT flavonoids have strong antioxidant effect and significantly reduce oxidative stress. We investigated the antioxidant activity and protective effect of an aqueous extract of RT on the liver mitochondria oxidative phosphorylation in rats with carbon tetrachloride-induced (CCl4-induced) liver damage. Mitochondrial respiration and ATP production was determined amperometrically using a Clark-type oxygen electrode. We found significantly decreased parameters of oxidative phosphorylation in thegroup having received CCl4 for 10 weeks. Simultaneous administration of RT increased oxygen uptake stimulated with ADP, and the rate of ATP generation in the mitochondria of rats, both having been impaired in rats treated with CCl4 only. Treatment with RT significantly decreased CCl4-induced elevated enzyme levels, improved capacity of the respiratory chain and energy production, presumably due to its potent and direct antioxidant activity, including inhibition of mitochondrial lipid peroxidation. Improved histological features support the view of antioxidant and membrane-stabilizing activityof RT. This fact may play a significant role in the protection of the liver from injury caused by known toxins, and from subsequent development of steatosis and fibrosis..