Is drinking tea good for your gut health?
A recent review looked at the numerous compounds in tea that may affect the gut microbiota including:
Ellagitannins—Ellagitannins are tannins found in tea and the gut microbiota metabolises ellagitannins producing something called urolithins. Urolithins may promote anti-inflammatory properties in the brain.
Black tea phenolic (BTP) and green tea catechin (GTC)—GTC has a bioactive phenolic product when fermented in the colon as opposed to BTP. Green tea has been around for a long time and research suggests that the properties from green tea may help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiota.
Tea polyphenols—Tea polyphenols include are catechins. Catechins include epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin-3-gallate and epigallocatechin-3-gallate. There’s also flavanols in tea such as quercetin, kaempferol and myricetin which may interact with gut microbiota. Still not 100% sure how.
Hippuric acid—If you drink green and black tea you will excrete (via your urine) something called hippuric acid but we don’t know much about this as yet or how it is metabolised by your gut bugs.
Drinking tea looks like it might be ok for your gut bugs but green tea looks like the best option. Green tea has been linked with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties and improved diversity within the gut microbiota so far. We’ll see what else comes up in the future.
Bond, T., & Derbyshire, E. (2019). Tea Compounds and the Gut Microbiome: Findings from Trials and Mechanistic Studies. Nutrients, 11(10), 2364. doi:10.3390/nu11102364
Gong, Z., Huang, J., Xu, B., Ou, Z., Zhang, L., Lin, X., . . . Xuan, A. (2019). Urolithin A attenuates memory impairment and neuroinflammation in APP/PS1 mice. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 16(1), 62. doi:10.1186/s12974-019-1450-3
Jung, E. S., Park, J. i., Park, H., Holzapfel, W., Hwang, J. S., & Lee, C. H. (2019). Seven-day Green Tea Supplementation Revamps Gut Microbiome and Caecum/Skin Metabolome in Mice from Stress. Sci Rep, 9(1), 18418. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-54808-5