Green tea polyphenols attenuate resistance exercise-induced increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines in obese men

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Exercise Physiology, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran.


Green tea polyphenols have been suggested to exert anti-inflammatory actions in in vivo and in vitro studies. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of green tea extract (GTE) supplementation on pro-inflammatory cytokines during a single bout of resistance exercise (RE) in obese men. Participants were ten obese men who participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled (PL) crossover study, administered 14-day GTE (500 mg/day) supplementation and PL with a 14-day washout period. After the supplementation periods, the participants performed the RE protocol, consisting of three sets of six exercises, to failure at 75% of one repetition maximum (1RM) and 2 min rest between sets. The serum samples were collected pre- and post-RE and analyzed for TNF-α, IL-1α, and IFN-γ. RE significantly increased TNF-α and IL-1α in obese men by 15% (p=0.043) and 18.71% (p=0.003) above the pre-RE values in the PL condition, respectively. However, GTE supplementation inhibited acute RE-induced increases in the TNF-α and IL-1α levels in obese men. Moreover, changes in the IFN-γ level during RE tended to be lower in GTE compared to the PL condition. Based on the findings, it can be concluded that 14-day GTE supplementation offers protection against RE-induced increases in pro-inflammatory cytokines in obese men. These immunomodulatory effects of GTE may be, in part, due to the anti-inflammatory properties of GTE in obese men that can be considered as a potential therapeutic factor to ameliorate obesity-associated inflammation.

What is already known on this subject?

Obesity has been associated with low-grade, chronic inflammation in adipose and liver tissue. Green tea catechins, include epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG), and epicatechin (EC) have been associated with antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic and anti-obesity properties.


What this study adds?

It was demonstrated that 2 weeks’ green tea polyphenols ingestion may be involved in reduction pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-1α, and IFN-γ during RE in obese men.


Main Subjects


We would like to thank the participants for contribution to the study.


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000.

Informed consent Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

Author contributions

Conceptualization: MR.R, Sh.ZTL.; Methodology: MR.R, Sh.ZTL.; Software: MR.R, Sh.ZTL.; Validation: MR.R, Sh.ZTL.; Formal analysis: MR.R, Sh.ZTL.; Investigation: MR.R, Sh.ZTL.; Resources: MR.R, Sh.ZTL.; Data curation: MR.R, Sh.ZTL.; Writing - original draft: MR.R, Sh.ZTL.; Writing - review & editing: MR.R, Sh.ZTL.; Visualization: MR.R, Sh.ZTL.; Supervision: MR.R.; Project administration: MR.R, Sh.ZTL.; Funding acquisition: MR.R.

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