Green tea helps serious gut health syndrome, study finds

Could improving your health be as simple as a cuppa?

Two US studies have found green tea in extract form can reduce blood sugar levels and improve gut health by lowering inflammation and decreasing ‘leaky gut’ – a condition where the lining of the small intestine leaks bacteria into the bloodstream.

And it all might be improved in four weeks.

Scientists at Ohio State University have come up with the remarkable results through two studies – one into blood sugar and one into gut inflammation  

The studies were a follow-up to a 2019 study with mice that found consuming green tea supplements reduced obesity and improved gut health.

At risk

The new studies involved 40 people with health risks associated with metabolic syndrome – a collection of conditions that increases the risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease

According to, the main components of metabolic syndrome include obesity, high blood pressure, high triglycerides (a type of blood fat), low ‘good’ cholesterol and insulin resistance.

The studies found that as well as lowering obesity and improving gut health in humans suffering from metabolic syndrome, green tea extract also lowered blood sugar and decreased gut inflammation and permeability (leaky gut) in healthy people, which was unexpected. All occurred within a few weeks.

“What this tells us is that within one month, we’re able to lower blood glucose in both people with metabolic syndrome and healthy people, and the lowering of blood glucose appears to be related to decreasing leaky gut and decreasing gut inflammation – regardless of health status,” said study co-author Professor Richard Bruno.

Prof. Bruno said the “tricky thing” about metabolic syndrome was that the individual risk factors often did not require drug management, but combined, they presented great risks to health.

“Most physicians will initially recommend weight loss and exercise. Unfortunately, we know most persons can’t comply with lifestyle modifications for various reasons,” Prof. Bruno said. “Our work is aiming to give people a new food-based tool to help manage their risk for metabolic syndrome or to reverse metabolic syndrome.”

Green means go

In the study, 21 people with metabolic syndrome and 19 healthy adults ate ‘gummy’ confections with green tea extract for 28 days. The daily dose was the equivalent of five cups of tea. All participants took a placebo for another 28 days with a month off any supplements in between.

Fasting blood glucose levels for all participants were significantly lower after taking green tea extract and decreased gut inflammation in all participants was determined by measuring pro-inflammatory proteins in faecal samples.

“We did not attempt to cure metabolic syndrome with a one-month study,” Prof. Bruno said.

“But based on what we know about the causal factors behind metabolic syndrome, there is potential for green tea to be acting at least in part at the gut level to alleviate the risk for either developing it or reversing it if you already have metabolic syndrome.” 

The gummy supplements were made by the university for the studies but commercial varieties are available.

Do you like green tea? Have you tried it in gummy form? Why not share your experience in the comments section.

Also read: Good heart health at 50 and 60

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.
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