Green tea is good for your microbiota!
Drinking tea, whether it is green or black, could preserve or help restore the gut microbiota balance, and could thus offset some aspects of dysbiosis caused by obesity or high-fat diet, according to a study... made in Britain of course!
Our gut microbiota is dominated by two groups of bacteria, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, with a relatively stable ratio. A disruption in this balance (dysbiosis) opens the way to the development of a variety of disorders (inflammatory or infectious diseases) and even obesity. On the contrary, a balanced microbial composition is a key element of an individual’s wellness and good health. Among the main architects of our gut flora, food is by far the most active. But it seems that what we drink is just as important.
Key role of polyphenols
Besides water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. Its high content in polyphenols reduces the number of some pathogenic bacteria and prevents their growth. To accurately determine the full range of effects of tea on gut bacteria, two English researchers reviewed the scientific literature on this subject. According to the results, daily consumption of green tea (between 400 and 1000 ml) favorably modifies the composition of our microbial ecosystem, leading to changes that support the Bacteroidetes/Firmicutes balance. By preventing dysbiosis, tea could counteract the negative effects of obesity or high-fat diet, which could explain why, in several studies, its consumption is associated with weight loss. Although most studies focused on green tea, those dedicated to black tea or less well-known types of tea such as Fuzhuan, Pu-erh or Oolong, revealed similar benefits.
Further studies are required
It is now necessary to understand how the different teas impact the gut microbiota and what regular consumption levels are required in healthy adults with normal weight. The role of tea consumption to alleviate symptoms of some gastrointestinal disorders needs to be further analyzed, according to the researchers.
Bond Timothy, Derbyshire Emma. Tea Compounds and the Gut Microbiome:Findings from Trials and Mechanistic Studies. Reproductive Health. Nutrients 2019, 11, 2364; doi:10.3390/nu11102364