- Black tea can promote weight loss and other health benefits by changing the gut bacteria
- Both green tea and black tea have a strong impact on the gut microbiome
- Consuming black tea alters energy metabolism in the liver by changing the gut microbiome
Black tea can promote weight loss and other health benefits by changing the gut bacteria, reveals a new study conducted by UCLA researchers for the very first time.
In a study of mice, consuming black tea altered the energy metabolism in the liver which changed the gut metabolites, reveal scientists. The research was published in the European Journal of Nutrition.
The ratio of intestinal bacteria in the animals changed due to both the black and green tea. The percentage of bacteria related to obesity decreased, while bacteria related with lean body mass increased, reveals the study.
In previous studies, polyphenols, the chemicals present in green tea were absorbed, which altered the energy metabolism in the liver.
Black tea polyphenols that are too large to be absorbed by the small intestine stimulated the growth of gut bacterium and led to the formation of short-chain fatty acids.
Short-chain fatty acids are a type of bacterial metabolites that alter the energy metabolism in the liver.
"It was known that green tea polyphenols are more effective and offer more health benefits than black tea polyphenols since green tea chemicals are absorbed into the blood and tissue," said Susanne Henning.
Susanne Henning is the study's lead author and an adjunct professor at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, which is part of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Black tea can contribute to good health and weight loss in humans, through a specific mechanism down the gut microbiome.
Both green tea and black tea are prebiotics. Prebiotics are substances that can lead to the growth of good microorganisms, which improves a person's well-being.
The mice in this study were divided into four groups and were given different diets. Two groups were given green tea or black tea extracts:
- Low-fat, high-sugar
- High-fat, high-sugar
- High-fat, high-sugar and green tea extract
- High-fat, high-sugar and black tea extract
After four weeks, the weight of the mice given green or black tea was measured. The mice that received green tea or black tea extracts showed a drop in the levels same as those mice that received the low-fat diet throughout the study.
Black Tea Alters Energy Metabolism
The research team collected samples from the mice's large intestines and liver tissues to measure bacteria content and to measure fat deposits.
The mice that consumed either green or black tea extract had less type of bacteria associated with obesity and more of the bacteria that was related to lean body mass, revealed the research team.
The mice that consumed black tea extract were found to have an increase in a type of bacteria called Pseudobutyrivibrio. This explains the difference between the change in metabolism of black and green tea.
Dr. Zhaoping Li is the director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, chief of the UCLA Division of Clinical Nutrition and the study's senior author.
The health benefits of green and black tea surpass their antioxidant benefits. Both green and black tea have a strong impact on the gut microbiome, said Dr.Li.
"For black tea lovers, there may be a new reason to keep drinking it," she said.
The findings were built on a 2015 UCLA study, which demonstrated that both green and black tea aid in preventing obesity in mice that consumed a high-fat, high-sugar diet.
Health Benefits of Black and Green Tea
Numerous tea varieties ranging from green tea to organic, black, herbal and fruit-based infusions are available in the market.
Drinking tea aids in reducing stress, calms the body and other benefits when consumed in a definite time and manner.
Black tea: is rich in antioxidants and is known for having anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant properties. It improves oral health, boosts metabolism, reduces obesity and stress levels. It aids in controlling bad cholesterol levels in the body, improves bone density, mitigates cardiovascular ailments and promotes wellness.
Green tea: is a storehouse of many antioxidant compounds. According to traditional Chinese medicine, drinking green tea helps in relieving body aches and pains, aids in digestion, impacts the process of detoxification and enhances the quality of life.
Polyphenols present in green tea contains antimutagenic, antidiabetic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and hypocholesterolemic properties.
- Susanne M. Henning, Jieping Yang, Mark Hsu, Ru-Po Lee, et al. Decaffeinated green and black tea polyphenols decrease weight gain and alter microbiome populations and function in diet-induced obese mice. European Journal of Nutrition (2017).