Study reveals green tea extract may reduce inflammation and obesity

Research out of Ohio State University has found a link between green tea and reduced obesity in mice, according to a newly published study. The work focused on lab mice fed a diet that included 2-percent green tea extract, which was linked to a reduction in inflammatory biomarkers associated with poor health, as well as a decrease in obesity levels. The study found that changes in gut bacteria may contribute to the positive effects.

The gut microbiome, often referred to as 'gut bacteria,' has been linked to human health in a number of ways, potentially contributing both positive and negatives changes in the body based on the person's diet and overall health. Negative changes in one's gut microbiome has previously been linked with increased risk of obesity, but positive changes caused by green tea extract may have the opposite effect.

The positive effects were observed in lab mice fed a diet containing green tea extract in contrast to a different group of mice that weren't fed green tea. The diet lasted for 8 weeks, during which time half the mice were fed a high-fat diet intended to cause obesity, and the other half were fed a regular diet. Half of each group were also given green tea extract.

In the high-fat diet group, the mice that were fed green tea extract gained around 20-percent less weight than the high-fat diet mice who didn't receive green tea extract. As well, the green tea diet group showed lower insulin resistance, and had less fat tissue and intestine inflammation. The green tea diet also appeared to help protect against endotoxin movement from the gut into the bloodstream and reduced leaky gut.

Though both the regular diet and high-fat diet mice fed green tea extract showed positive effects, the changes were more substantial in the high-fat diet group. How would this translate to a human diet? According to the study's lead author Richard Bruno, the amount fed to the mice would be the equivalent of a human drinking around 10 cups of green tea per day.

Additional research is still necessary, however, to determine whether these positive effects would also apply to humans. As well, there's the chance that green tea extract supplements may not show the same positive changes compared to drinking liquid green tea due to the metabolization of catechins.