Research has found that green tea extract may have a positive effect on gut health. A recent study conducted at Ohio State University specifically investigated metabolic syndrome, affecting one-third of Americans.
Green tea extract was found to lower inflammation in the gut, making it a potential treatment for metabolic syndrome and a host of other issues.
Reducing Blood Sugar and Inflammation
Metabolic syndrome involves a combination of at least three of five factors that put people at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other serious health problems. These five factors are excess abdominal fat, elevated blood pressure, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and high levels of fasting blood glucose and triglycerides.
In the 2022 study, 40 adults took green tea extract equivalent to five cups of tea daily for 28 days. Approximately half of the participants suffered from metabolic syndrome, while the other half were healthy.
Richard Bruno, senior author of the research, explained that the purpose of this study was to determine the exact effects of green tea on the digestive system. "There is much evidence that consumption of green tea is associated with good levels of cholesterol, glucose, and triglycerides, but no studies have linked its benefits in the gut to those health factors," he said.
After four weeks of green tea consumption, participants demonstrated lower blood sugar levels. The researchers were also able to confirm a notable decrease in gut inflammation and permeability, suggesting a possible link to blood sugar levels.
Interestingly, these improvements were observed not only in individuals diagnosed with metabolic syndrome but also in those with healthy guts.
"What this tells us is that within one month we're able to lower blood glucose in people with metabolic syndrome and healthy people, and the lowering of blood glucose appears to be related to decreasing leaky gut and decreasing gut inflammation," Bruno said.
Managing Gut Health with Green Tea
The results suggest that green tea extract could become a diet-based tool to manage and potentially reverse metabolic syndrome. The positive impact on gut health holds promise for preventing future cardiometabolic disorders.
“Based on what we know about the causal factors behind metabolic syndrome, there is potential for green tea to act at the gut level to alleviate the risk for developing it, or even reverse it," Bruno says.
The next step of the research will involve examining the microbial communities within participants' guts to assess levels of bacteria-related toxins in their bloodstreams.
A Wide Range of Health Benefits
Green tea has a long history of medicinal use in Asian countries. Originating from China, this tea is made from unoxidized leaves, preserving its natural antioxidants and polyphenols. Its components, including catechins and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), have been studied for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Beyond metabolic syndrome, green tea boasts an array of potential benefits. Its anti-inflammatory properties have been used in the treatment of some skin conditions and it may help treat arthritis.
Regular consumption of green tea has been linked to better heart health, lower cholesterol and a decreased risk of stroke. A small number of studies have linked green tea to the prevention of a variety of cancers, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Green tea is also being explored as a potential enhancer of cognitive functions, working memory, and metabolism. However, it's crucial to note that research on these potential benefits is not yet conclusive.
While green tea is generally considered safe for adults, caution is advised, especially for those sensitive to caffeine. High concentrations may pose a risk of liver damage. It's essential to exercise caution with any food supplements that are not regulated by the FDA.
Green tea has a wide variety of potential benefits and is an easily accessible and relatively safe addition to a healthy diet. However, consultation with healthcare providers is always recommended before using any new supplement, especially for anyone suffering from health issues.
Anyone striving for optimal well-being may find incorporating green tea into their routine a simple yet effective way to enhance their physical health and cognitive performance.
This article was originally published in Certainty News: www.certaintynews.com/article/study-reveals-new-benefits-of-green-tea-for-gut-health