Green tea may boost gut health, lower blood sugar

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Scientists from the Ohio State University found that consuming green tea extract for four weeks can reduce blood sugar levels and improve gut health by lowering inflammation and decreasing “leaky gut”.

This is the first study assessing whether the health risks linked to the condition known as metabolic syndrome, which affects about one-third of Americans, may be diminished by green tea’s anti-inflammatory benefits in the gut.

The research is published in Current Developments in Nutrition and was conducted by Richard Bruno et al.

There is much evidence that greater consumption of green tea is associated with good levels of cholesterol, glucose and triglycerides, but no studies have linked its benefits in the gut to those health factors.

In the study, the team examined 21 with metabolic syndrome and 19 healthy adults. These people consumed gummy confections containing green tea extract rich in anti-inflammatory compounds called catechins for 28 days.

The daily dose equaled five cups of green tea. In the randomized double-blind crossover trial, all participants spent another 28 days taking a placebo, with a month off of any supplement between the treatments.

The team showed that fasting blood sugar levels for all participants were much lower after taking green tea extract compared to levels after taking the placebo.

In addition, green tea extract decreased gut inflammation and permeability.

The findings showed that within one month the researchers were able to lower blood sugar in both people with metabolic syndrome and healthy people.

The lowering of blood sugar appears to be related to decreasing leaky gut and decreasing gut inflammation—regardless of health status.

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

The tricky thing about these risk factors that constitute metabolic syndrome is that they are often only slightly altered and do not yet require drug management, but still impose great risk to health.

The team says there is potential for green tea to be acting at least in part at the gut level to alleviate the risk of either developing it or reversing it if you already have metabolic syndrome.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about some meats linked to increased high blood pressure risk, and this diet could prevent memory loss and dementia

For more information about nutrition please see recent studies about six vitamins that help stop complications in diabetes, and results showing vitamin D may benefit men with advanced cancer.

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