Lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) are toxic metals occurring commonly in the human environment that show mutagenic, genotoxic and carcinogenic effects. Dietary components could prevent heavy metals intoxication by reducing their accumulation in the body. The purpose of the study was to check possible protective effect of regular consumption of white, black, red, or green tea on bone metabolism during long-term exposure to Pb and Cd in adult rats. The 12 week-long exposure to Pb and Cd (50 mg Pb and 7 mg Cd/kg of the diet) in a rat model was studied. Twelve-week-old adult male Wistar rats were randomly divided into a negative control group (Pb and Cd exposure without tea), a control (without Pb and Cd and teas), and groups co-exposed to Pb and Cd and supplemented with green, red, black, or white tea (n=12 each group). The experiment lasted for 12 weeks. The co-exposure to Pb and Cd led to the increase of bone resorption depending on the tea treatment, which was confirmed by the mechanical testing and histomorphometrical examination of cancellous bone. Pb and Cd influenced mechanical strength, reduced the densitometric and geometric parameters and the thickness of growth plate and articular cartilages. Concluding, white tea exerted the best protective effect on bone tissue and hyaline cartilage against heavy metal action.
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