- Black tea helps us to shed those unwanted pounds
- Black tea could rival green tea for mantle of which is best for helping us lose weight
Recent research by scientists has found that drinking black tea as and not just green tea can promote weight loss. How ? By promoting our gut bacteria, especially the ones which encourage energy metabolism .
Research conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found that black and green tea altered the ratio of intestinal bacteria in mice. They found the percentage of bacteria associated with obesity dropped whilst the bacteria associated with prompting lean body mass rose in number.
A simple design was used for the study. Researchers divided the mice into four groups and placed them on four different diets: Low-fat and high-sugar, high-fat and high-sugar, high-fat and high-sugar with green tea extract, and high-fat, high-sugar with black tea extract.
Weight loss was measured over four weeks. The mice taking either green tea or black tea polyphenols showed the same loss of weight roughly as those on the low-fat and high-sugar diet.
The findings come on the back of positive results associated with green tea in the past. Here, polyphenols in green tea linked to good health are also found in black tea. The overall mechanism of green tea polyphenols is that by being absorbed they positively affect the metabolic functions of the liver. Black tea also has polyphenols with similar benefits but there was this additional finding regarding the gut bacteria. What was most interesting though was another finding. With the black tea being fed to mice, a particular bacteria called Pseudobutyrivibrio was encouraged to thrive and this also altered liver metabolism. That is a result not found with green tea ingestion.
Green tea not only encourages weight loss but also improves insulin sensitivity so that type-2 diabetes is less of a risk. Again, black tea might be just as equally effective but the mechanism by which it does so depends on how our gut bacteria behave.
The tea polyphenols stimulate the production of short-chain fatty acids in the gut, which the study explains have been proven to boost the body’s metabolic rate.
Study lead Susanne Henning, an adjunct professor at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, which is part of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said:
“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.
Our new findings suggest that black tea, through a specific mechanism through the gut microbiome, may also contribute to good health and weight loss in humans.
The results suggest that both green and black teas are prebiotics, substances that induce the growth of good microorganisms that contribute to a person’s well-being.”
Dr Zhaoping Li, director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, chief of the UCLA Division of Clinical Nutrition and the study’s senior author, said:
“For black tea lovers, there may be a new reason to keep drinking it.”
The research is published in the European Journal of Nutrition.