Green tea useful for reducing gut inflammation and blood sugar levels

A new study shows regular consumption of green tea extract may help decrease blood sugar levels as well as gut inflammation and permeability.

Scientists in the US aimed to find a connection between the consumption of green tea and the metabolic syndrome. The recent research was published in Current Developments in Nutrition.

The study, conducted by researchers from Pennsylvania State University and Ohio State University, assessed green tea’s anti-inflammatory benefits for the digestive system, as well as related to the lowering of the metabolic syndrome risk, coronary hearth disease, diabetes, and more health related conditions.

Dr. Richard Bruno, study author and nutrition professor at Ohio State, has been studying these effects for over 15 years. The team of researchers, led by Dr. Bruno, conducted a clinical trial on 40 participants, from which 21 suffered from metabolic syndrome and 19 made up the heathy control group.

The participants were offered catechins gummies equivalent for five cups of green tea, for 28 consecutive days. Following this first stage of the study, participants were given a placebo for another 28 days taking a placebo, after a month of break between the two stages of the research. During the study, participants ate a diet low in polyphenols in order for their food habits not to interfere with the study’s results.

Researchers measured participants’ blood glucose, insulin, lipids, and dietary polyphenols in the middle and at the end of each stage, as well as collected an assessed stool samples. No adverse effects or BMI changes were reported during the trial.

According to the results, green tea extract lowered blood sugar as well as gut inflammation and permeability in both category of participants.

“The findings in humans are quite exciting because they confirm some of the findings that were previously observed in rodents that were supplemented with green tea. […]

“The importance of gut health for humans is exemplified by our research and suggests that dietary factors such as green tea that are rich in catechins can help to reduce the risk of glucose intolerance by limiting gut inflammation and improving gut integrity”, Dr. Bruno declared.

“Our work shows that regular green tea consumption has the potential to be part of the solution to manage the risk of metabolic syndrome”, the lead researcher added.

The findings are important, as often patients affected by the metabolic syndrome have no medical treatment alternative instead of diet and exercise.

Nevertheless, as stated by nutritionist Dr. Roxana Ehsani, also a lead representative of for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, green tea extract consumption might be problematic for some patients due to the fact that high doses can be toxic and trigger several organ damage. Five cups of green tea a day might be more than people can tolerate, Dr. Ehsani believes.

“Drinking [a single cup of] green tea every day and consuming a diet rich in fruits and veggies can and will also benefit a person’s fasting blood sugar”, she added.

On the other hand, Dr. Kristin Kirkpatrick, a registered dietitian nutritionist, agrees with the study’s findings.

“Inflammation is the base of any disease and can impact chronic disease risk, gut health, and mental health. Therefore, regular consumption of green tea may help to benefit health beyond what was seen in this study”, Dr. Kirkpatrick declared.

“Since the supplement industry is not regulated, I would most likely focus on [drinking green tea] over a supplement form,” she commented, while adding that if patience choose to consume tea, then it should be unsweetened.

Nevertheless, either people will decide to go for tea or green tea supplements, they should speak with their physicians first, the doctors agreed.

“High doses of green tea extract may be toxic and may interfere with any other supplements or medications you are also taking,” Dr. Ehsani commented.

As for now, Dr. Brunos team is investigating the direct relationship between green tea and gut microbiota, in order to find out if green tea is capable of increasing the levels of healthy bacteria and decrease the presence of pathogenic ones in the gastrointestinal system.

“This will help in our understanding of how green tea improves gut health and whether shifts in bacteria population predict effective responses to green tea consumption,” Dr. Bruno added.

More research about the link between green tea extract and the human health is needed before reaching a conclusion on this matter.


kw: green tea, extract, health, gut microbiota, gut inflammation, blood sugar levels, metabolic syndrome, research, news