BackgroundDiet and exercise play important roles in ameliorating metabolic syndrome. Yunkang 10 (Camellia sinensis var. assamica) is a most cultivated tea variety for making tea in the Southwestern China. Currently, there is no report of healthy effects of Yunkang 10 green tea (YKGT) and treadmill exercise (Ex) on high fat diet induced metabolic syndrome (MetS). We aimed to investigate the beneficial effects and molecular mechanism of YKGT and Ex using high fat diet induced MetS of C57BL/6 mice.MethodsCatechins and caffeine in water extract of YKGT were measured via high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). 10-week old mice were fed with high fat diet (HFD) for 10 weeks to induce obese mice. Then the obese mice were fed with continuous high fat diet (HFD), HFD with YKGT, HFD with Ex, and HFD with both YKGT and Ex for 8 weeks, respectively. The another group of 10-week old mice fed with low fat diet (LFD) were used as control.ResultsHPLC data revealed that YKGT has abundantly high concentration of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and caffeine compared to Longjing 43 (Camellia sinensis var. sinensis) green tea. YKGT and Ex significantly decreased the level of blood glucose, serum total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), insulin, and alanine aminotransferase activity (ALT) when compared to HFD group. The fatty liver and hepatic pro-inflammatory gene expression in the YKGT, Ex and YKGT+Ex groups was mitigated significantly compared with HFD group, respectively. The phosphorylation of inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B kinase α/β (IKKα/β) and inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B α (IkBα) protein in the nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-kB) signaling pathway was also decreased in YKGT or YKGT+Ex groups. The combination of YKGT and Ex prevented gene expression for lipid synthesis in the liver tissue, and significantly upregulated mRNA level of glucose transport genes in the skeletal muscles, when compared to the HFD group.ConclusionsThis study demonstrated that YKGT supplement or exercise appeared to reverse preexisting metabolic syndrome, and effectively relieved the fatty liver and hepatic inflammatory response induced by high fat diet. YKGT supplement and treadmill exercise together had better beneficial effects than only one intervention.