Researchers have succeeded in reducing obesity through a diet rich in green tea. This discovery could help reduce the number of diabetes cases among people at risk.
Earlier studies had already shown that green tea helped prevent obesity and protect against intestinal inflammation. To understand all the benefits of green tea, a group of American researchers decided to develop an experiment in mice. Their study was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
They found that the intestines of the mice were better with a diet of 2% green tea. Indeed, these mice had a better impermeability of the intestine and their microbiota was of better quality (the bacteria are healthier). “This study proves that green tea encourages the growth of good intestinal bacteria, which leads to a series of benefits that significantly reduce the risk of obesity,” said Richard Bruno, lead author of the study and nutrition professor at The Ohio University.
Green Tea, our ally for a healthy gut
For this study, laboratory mice were separated into two groups. For eight weeks, the first group followed a high-fat diet designed to cause obesity and the other half a conventional diet. These groups, half ate green tea extract mixed with their food. The researchers then measured the body weight and adipose tissue, insulin resistance, and the composition of intestinal microbes. It appeared that the mice fed a diet high in fats and green tea took about 20% less weight than the mice fed a diet identical, but without tea. These mice also had less inflammation of the intestine and had a stronger and better bowel. The researchers also discovered that green tea contributes to a healthier microbial community.
Experiments on humans in progress
For the experiment, the mice took the equivalent of about 10 cups of green tea a day for one person. “It may sound like a lot of tea, but it’s not very unusual in some parts of the world,” he said. Professor Richard Bruno, who is currently working on a new study on tea, will focus on the effects of green tea on intestinal leakage in patients with metabolic syndrome — a predisposing disease — people with type 2 diabetes and heart disease. “For the moment,” he says, “it’s too early to extrapolate animal discoveries to humans,” but he hopes his study can help prevent obesity.