JUL 27, 2022 1:00 PM PDT

Green Tea Lowers Blood Sugar, Improves Gut Health

WRITTEN BY: Ryan Vingum

A new study from researchers at the Ohio State University represents one of the first attempts to examine the link between green tea consumption, factors causing metabolic syndrome, and the role the gut may play. Despite numerous studies highlighting the role green tea can have on things like cholesterol and blood sugar levels (which can lead to metabolic syndrome), no research has looked at green tea’s impacts on the gut to understand how green tea impacts factors leading to metabolic syndrome. 

The new research study is published in Current Developments in Nutrition.

To understand the complex interplay between green tea, the gut, and various risk factors of metabolic syndrome, researchers conducted a clinical trial with 40 participants. Of these 40, 19 participants were considered generally healthy while 21 were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. All participants were given gummy candy to eat for 28 days. The candies contained a green tea extract full of catechins, which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. After these 28 days, all participants received a placebo for an additional 28 days. Participants were also asked to refrain from eating polyphenol-rich foods to allow researchers to truly study the effects of green tea antioxidants. 

Overall, researchers reported that participants had lower blood sugar levels after taking green tea compared to placebo. They also had lower levels of gut inflammation.

When it comes to the gut, participants also had a decrease in “leaky gut.” Also called gut permeability, leaky gut refers to changes to the intestinal lining that allows bacteria to get into the bloodstream and trigger inflammation. 

These findings suggest that green tea’s protective benefits in the gut could play a potential role in lowering the risk of someone developing metabolic syndrome. Gut microbiota, for example, may act as a “middle man” when promoting the health benefits of green tea in the body. More research is needed.

The health benefits of green tea are located in its rich abundance of antioxidants called catechins. These antioxidants, in addition to improving gut health, also have a range of other health benefits. This includes promoting brain function and can even help facilitate the burning of fat. 

Sources: Science Daily; Current Developments in Nutrition; Molecules

 

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Science writer and editor, with a focus on simplifying complex information about health, medicine, technology, and clinical drug development for a general audience.
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