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Tea Compounds and the Gut Microbiome

Posted date:
19th Feb '20

Published as Bond T & Derbyshire E (2019) Tea Compounds and the Gut Microbiome: Findings from Trials and Mechanistic Studies; Nutrients 2019, 11, 2364

Treating your friends to a cup of tea has always been a mainstay of British society, but now a journal review reports that your ‘friendly’ gut bacteria could also be grateful. The study, commissioned by the Tea Advisory Panel (TAP) and published in Nutrients Journal, combines the results from twenty-four studies on the impact of different teas on gut health. The results showed clear differences in the types of bacteria thriving in the gut after regular tea drinking, with the balance changed towards healthier strains and away from those linked with infection and even obesity.

Key findings from the research review included:

  • Tea polyphenols are easily broken down and made available for the body to absorb thanks to the actions of gut bacteria.
  • In a 2-week study, using 2 daily cups of green tea, scientists found an improved ratio between Bifidobacterium and Enterobacteriacea indicating that the gut bacteria were more balanced for health. 
  • A 10-day study providing 4-5 cups of green tea daily instead of water demonstrated prebiotic effects and also increased levels of Bifidobacterium – a healthy strain of bacteria.
  • Laboratory studies have shown that tea helps to offset some of the unfavourable bacterial changes brought about by high-fat diets or obesity.
  • A pilot study which gave patients with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis green tea polyphenols found that the remission rate was 53% compared with 0% in the placebo.

In summary, the review performed a systematic analysis of trials and mechanistic studies examining the effects of tea consumption, its associated compounds and their effects on the gut microbiome. Human trials were graded using the Jadad scale to assess quality. Altogether twenty-four publications were included in the review—six were human trials and 18 mechanistic studies.

More research is needed.

The journal paper can be accessed here: https://res.mdpi.com/d_attachment/nutrients/nutrients-11-02364/article_deploy/nutrients-11-02364-v2.pdf

Journalists can request more information from nicky@junglecatsolutions.com.

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