The protective effect of water extracts of white tea (WEWT) on oxidative stress in vitro is investigated. WEWT, like water extracts of green tea (WEGT) and water extracts of Pu-erh tea (WEPT), demonstrates a marked inhibition of the oxidation of liposome, albumin and LDLmodel systems. WEWT protects against H2O2-induced cytotoxicity, in a dose-dependent manner. The inhibition of ROS generation and MDA formation by WEWT in H2O2-induced Clone 9 cells parallels the effects on cell viability. Moreover, GSH and antioxidant enzymes may play an important role in the protective effect that is associated with H2O2-induced oxidative stress. The HPLC-DAD and HPLC-MS/MS analysis, shows that sixteen bioactive compounds are present in WEWT, which may partially account for its protective effect against oxidative insult. These results suggest that the mechanism of the protective actions of WEWT is related to its antioxidant potential and the maintenance of the normal redox status of the cell. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.