Drink up: Tea polyphenols may promote lower gut health

Drink up: Tea polyphenols may promote lower gut health

09 Nov 2018 --- A University of Naples study has found that polyphenols found in tea can be beneficial to lower gut health. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the colon bioaccessibility and antioxidant activity of tea polyphenolic extract. The findings of the study could present a novel strategy for the management of gut-related inflammatory diseases.

Using an 80 percent methanolic extract of tea polyphenols from green white and black tea, the researchers were interested in the effect the polyphenols may have on the microbiome and potential anti-inflammatory benefits during simulated gastrointestinal (GI) digestion. 

They found that after GI digestion, the bioaccessibility in the colon stage was increased significantly compared to the duodenal stage (the duodenum is the first section of the small intestine). This effectively means that the lower gut was able to better metabolize these compounds and generate metabolites with greater antioxidant activity. 

In practice, this means that the door is now open for further research on the effects of polyphenols on the lower gut, since they may have poor bioaccessibility and bioavailability on the duodenum but can exert their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities in the lower gut, researchers say.

Tea has long been touted as having certain health benefits and consumption of the antioxidant rich beverage is a staple in many people’s lives. Combined with the growing trend of fermented foods, we see a rise in the consumption of Kombucha tea for example. Consumers are looking for healthier beverages that will benefit their health and their palate.

Matcha tea is another example of tea that has seen great popularity lately. Green tea leaves can be powdered and dissolved in hot water to create an antioxidant rich beverage, this matcha powder is widely used in food as well. Eastern cultures hail its therapeutic powers and now it seems that according to a recent study, matcha tea may also fight breast cancer cells.

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