Consuming green tea extract can lower blood sugar and improve gut health

Consuming green tea extract can lower blood sugar and improve gut health

New research in people with heart disease risk factors has shown that consuming green tea extract for four weeks can lower blood sugar and improve gut health by reducing inflammation and reducing “leaky gut.”

The researchers said this is the first study to evaluate whether the health risks associated with a condition known as metabolic syndrome, which affects about one-third of Americans, can be reduced by green tea’s anti-inflammatory effects in the gut.

There is a lot of evidence that higher consumption of green tea is associated with good cholesterol, glucose and triglyceride levels, but no studies have linked its gut benefits to these health factors.”

Richard Bruno, lead author of the study and professor of human nutrition at The Ohio State University

The team conducted a clinical trial in 40 individuals following a 2019 study that linked lower obesity and fewer health risks in mice that consumed green tea supplements with improved gut health.

In the new study, green tea extract also lowered blood sugar, or glucose, and reduced gut inflammation and permeability in healthy people—an unexpected finding.

“This tells us that within one month we are able to lower blood glucose in both people with metabolic syndrome and healthy people, and the reduction in blood glucose appears to be associated with reduced leaky gut and reduced gut inflammation — regardless of health condition. state,” said Bruno.

Recently, articles have been published on the results of glucose and reduced intestinal permeability and inflammation Current developments in nutrition.

People with metabolic syndrome are diagnosed with at least three of the five factors that increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other health problems – excess belly fat, high blood pressure, low HDL (good) cholesterol and high fasting blood glucose levels. triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood.

The tricky thing about these risk factors that make up metabolic syndrome is that none reach levels that require drug treatment, Bruno said.

“Most doctors will initially recommend weight loss and exercise. Unfortunately, we know that most people cannot follow lifestyle modifications for a variety of reasons,” he said. “Our work aims to provide people with a new food-based tool to help them manage their risk of metabolic syndrome or reverse metabolic syndrome.”

Forty participants—21 with metabolic syndrome and 19 healthy adults—consumed gummies containing green tea extract rich in anti-inflammatory compounds called catechins for 28 days. The daily dose was equal to five cups of green tea. In a randomized, double-blind crossover study, all participants spent an additional 28 days on placebo with a one-month break for any supplement between treatments.

The researchers confirmed that participants followed a diet low in polyphenols—naturally occurring antioxidants in fruits, vegetables, tea and spices—as advised during the placebo and green tea extract phase of the study, so any results could be attributed to the effects of green tea alone.

The results showed that fasting blood glucose levels in all participants were significantly lower after taking green tea extract compared to levels after taking a placebo. Reduced intestinal inflammation due to green tea treatment in all participants was detected using an analysis that showed a reduction in pro-inflammatory proteins in stool samples. Using a technique to assess sugar levels in urine samples, the researchers also found that participants’ small intestinal permeability decreased favorably with green tea.

Gut permeability, or leaky gut, allows gut bacteria and associated toxic compounds to enter the bloodstream and stimulate chronic, low-grade inflammation.

“This absorption of gut-derived products is considered to be the initiating factor of obesity and insulin resistance, which are central to all cardiometabolic disorders,” Bruno said. “If we can improve gut integrity and reduce gut leakiness, the idea is that we’ll be able to not only reduce the low-grade inflammation that initiates cardiometabolic disorders, but potentially reverse them.”

“We didn’t cure metabolic syndrome with a month-long study,” he said. “But based on what we know about the causal factors of metabolic syndrome, there is the potential for green tea to act at least in part at the gut level to reduce the risk of developing or reversing it if you already have metabolic syndrome.”

Bruno’s lab is completing further analyzes of the microbial communities in the study participants’ guts and the levels of bacteria-related toxins in their blood.

This work was supported by the US Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Ohio.

Ohio State co-authors on both papers include Min Zeng, Geoffrey Sasaki, Sisi Cao, Yael Vodovotz and Joanna Hodges. Avinash Pokala and Shahabeddin Rezaei also co-authored the paper on glucose reduction.


Link to journal:

Hodges, J., et al. (2022) Catechin-Rich Green Tea Extract Reduced Intestinal Inflammation and Fasting Glucose in Metabolic Syndrome and in Healthy Adults: A Randomized, Controlled, Crossover Study. Current developments in nutrition.

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