Green tea may lower risk of obesity and other health risks

In a new study, researchers from Ohio State University have found that green tea may be effective in reducing the risk of obesity and numerous inflammatory biomarkers considered to be unhealthy.

According to OSU researchers, mice who consumed a diet with two percent of green tea extract experienced beneficiary effects to their health compared to those who did not consume any tea. These effects may have originated from an increase in gut health and other microbes in the intestines and intestinal wall, researchers say.

“This study provides evidence that green tea encourages the growth of good gut bacteria, and that leads to a series of benefits that significantly lower the risk of obesity.”

In previous studies, researchers suggested green tea may reduce the risk of obesity and even prevent inflammation in the gut. With prior findings, researchers began their experiment probing the effects of green tea in male mice, feeding them a normal and high-fat diet known to increase the risk of obesity.

In a span of eight weeks, a high-fat diet leading to obesity was given to half of the animals while the other half consumed a regular diet. In both groups, half of the animals consumed green tea extract. Researchers then measured body and fat tissue weight, in addition to insulin resistance.

Based on the findings, the animals who consumed a high-fat diet containing green tea had a decrease in weight by 20 percent and saw lower insulin resistance, compared to their counterpart that did not consume tea. Researchers also observed reduced inflammation within fat tissue and the intestine. Green tea consumption helped reduce the movement of endotoxin, a toxic bacterial component, the study also found.

Furthermore, green tea contributed to a healthier microbial community in the guts of the mice who consumed a high-fat diet. In mice who consumed the normal or low-fat diet with green tea saw a lower risk of weight gain and reduced levels of endotoxin.

Although the findings did not provide a strong enough outlook into the health benefits of green tea in humans as researchers hoped, they are looking to future studies to be able to better understand if green tea may be a significant health benefit for reducing the risk of obesity.

“Two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, and we know that just telling people to eat less and exercise more isn’t working. It’s important to establish complementary health-promoting approaches that can prevent obesity and related problems,” researchers concluded.

The findings were published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

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