A nice cup of tea may be better for you than you realise
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Black tea has been found to alter gut bacteria to promote weight loss and other health benefits. Green tea has traditionally been held up for its ability to alter energy metabolism in the liver, but a new study from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) showed that black tea is also capable of changing the ratio of intestinal bacteria. In the study, the percentage of bacteria associated with obesity decreased in mice given black tea, while bacteria associated with lean body mass increased. Previous studies showed that polyphenols, chemicals in green tea, are absorbed by the liver and alter its energy metabolism – and while polyphenols in black tea are too large to be absorbed by the small intestine, they achieve the same effect by different means. Black tea stimulates the growth of gut bacteria and the formation of short-chain fatty acids, a type of bacterial metabolites that has been shown to alter the energy metabolism in the liver. “It was known that green tea polyphenols are more effective and offer more health benefits than black tea polyphenols since green tea chemicals are absorbed into the blood and tissue,” said Susanne Henning, the study’s lead author and an adjunct professor at the UCLA Centre for Human Nutrition.
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