Researchers at Ohio State University have completed work on studying the effects of green tea extract in mice.
The long story short is that mice fed a diet that consisted of 2% green tea extract were healthier than the control group.
The mechanisms at work here may be counter intuitive to many people. The benefits seem to stem from the improvement and promotion of a healthy gut, including more healthy bacteria and a less permeable intestinal wall.
"This study provides evidence that green tea encourages the growth of good gut bacteria, and that leads to a series of benefits that significantly lower the risk of obesity" - Richard Bruno
While more and more evidence is stacking up linking poor gut health to obesity, green tea is starting to look like a good counter measure.
The researchers studied the mice for eight weeks. Half of the animals were fed a high fat diet, the other half were fed their normal diet. In each group, half of the mice were given the green tea extract mixed in with their food.
After the 8 weeks, the scientists measured the following:
- Body and fat tissue weight
- Insulin resistance
- Gut permeability ("leaky" gut)
- Movement of endotoxin into the blood stream
- Inflammation markers in fat tissue and the intestine
- Composition of gut microbes
The mice fed a high-fat diet supplemented with green tea gained about 20 percent less weight and had lower insulin resistance.
These mice also had less fatty tissue and intestinal inflammation.
What's really exciting is that these positive results have lead into a human study that is currently being set up.
Green tea and its extract have long been used for their medicinal and health benefits. If you've taken it for any length of time, you're probably already a believer and this won't change your mind.
But when conventional science starts to prove some of the things we've known from practice and experimentation it is reason to get excited.