Green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate improves the antioxidant capacity of eggs
It has been shown that supplementation of layers’ diets with epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) can improve egg albumen quality, but the underlying mechanisms behind this response are unclear. In this study, we investigate the effect of EGCG on egg antioxidative activity, free amino acid and fatty acid profiles, and the underlying relationship between the EGCG and oxidant-sensitive mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway in laying hens. 288 hens (35-weeks-old) were fed 0 and 165 mg kg−1 of EGCG diets over 8 weeks. EGCG led to an increase in the albumen height, Haugh unit, and activity of glutathione S-transferase (GST) and a reduction in MDA content in plasma (P < 0.05). Egg white tryptophan and yolk carotenoid content was also increased by EGCG (P < 0.05). Eggs from EGCG fed layers had higher total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), reducing power (RP), and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), and lower albumen and yolk MDA content (P < 0.05). Also, liver gene and protein expression of P-38MAPK, nuclear factor erythroid 2-related 2 (Nrf2) and hemeoxygenase 1 (HO-1) was up-regulated by EGCG. Our findings suggest that dietary EGCG increased the antioxidant activity of eggs and regulated the MAPK/Nrf2 signaling pathway.