Posts tagged with "Gut microbiome"

Study: Green tea extract supplements improve gut health, help lower blood sugar levels

July 27, 2022

Green tea has long been viewed as a healthful drink—and now, an Ohio State University study has demonstrated that four-week green tea extract consumption can improve gut health and reduce blood sugar levels by decreasing inflammation, reports Gut News.

The research team conducted this work to build off a 2019 study that established that fewer health risks and incidences of  obesity  are associated with consumption of green tea.

“There is much evidence that greater consumption of green tea is associated with good levels of cholesterol, glucose, and triglycerides, but no studies have linked its  benefits to the gut  to those health factors,” says Richard Bruno, senior study author and professor of Human Nutrition at the school.

This latest clinical trial included 40 adults—21 with metabolic syndrome; and 19, healthy. They consumed gummy green tea extract supplements for 28 days daily. The dosage equates to five cups of tea. In the randomized double-blind crossover trial, all participants consumed a placebo for an additional 28 days, taking a month off entirely between treatments.

Researchers also advised participants to follow a diet low in polyphenols, which are antioxidants found naturally in fruits, vegetables, teas, and spices. This is so that during the placebo and green tea extract supplement phases, the results could be attributed to just the green tea and not anything confounding.

Results show that fasting blood glucose levels in all participants were significantly lower after taking the green tea extract supplement compared to post-placebo.

Also, upon analysis of fecal samples, a reduction in pro-inflammatory proteins was see in all participants—meaning that the gut saw a significant decrease in inflammation.

Further, the team used a technique to assess sugar ratios in urine samples. Findings show participants’ small intestine permeability decreased after the green tea consumption, meaning that  leaky gut syndrome  conditions were alleviated.

“That absorption of gut-derived products is thought to be an initiating factor for obesity and  insulin resistance, which are central to all cardiometabolic disorders,” Bruno notes. “If we can improve gut integrity and reduce leaky gut, the thought is we’ll be able to not only alleviate low-grade inflammation that initiates cardiometabolic disorders, but potentially reverse them.”

Metabolic syndrome wasn’t cured over the month, but the study does show that green tea has lots of potential to notably lessen the risk for developing the condition and even reversing it, due to its supportive effects on the gut. Bruno’s lab is confident that their team produced findings that will positively impact chronic conditions through gut health. They plan to continue analyzing the gut microbiome, identifying any toxins that can increase susceptibility to poor health.

This study is published in the journal, Current Developments in Nutrition.

For those who are interested in trying green tea extract, a high dosage is considered to range from 10 to 29 milligrams per kilogram (or 4.54 to 13.15 milligrams per pound) of body weight per day.

And experts warn enthusiasts no to overdo it. The National Institute of Health  says green tea extract supplements have been linked to several cases of liver damage and can accelerate liver disease.

Research contact: @gutnews

Gut feelings: Eating yogurt may help you feel happier

May 11, 2021

Eating yogurt that contains probiotics may help you feel less stressed and depressed, Study Finds reports.

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine recently studied mice who were fed a “friendly,” probiotic bacteria found in live-culture yogurts called Lactobacillus. The team found that the rodents’ depressive symptoms were largely reversed by consuming the yogurt.

Scientists have long known that stress plays a large role in our moods. However, the role of our gut microbiome—which contains thousands of bacterial organisms—in either sustaining or blocking such feelings has not been explored extensively

With 7% of Americans suffering from depression at any given time, the study’s implications are enormous.

For their experiment, the researchers examined the composition of the mice’s microbiomes before and after being subjected to stress—and found that the level of Lactobacillus in their gastrointestinal systems decreased markedly after the mice had experienced stress. Concomitant depression also resulted.

According to the report by Study Finds, as soon as the mice were fed probiotic yogurt, their mood reverted back to a more stable state.

“A single strain of Lactobacillus is able to influence mood,” says lead researcher Dr. Alban Gaultier, a neuroscientist, in a university release.

They verified the phenomenon they had observed by examining how much kynurenine— a chemical that drives depression— had increased while the  Lactobacillus had diminished.

“This is the most consistent change we’ve seen across different experiments and different settings we call microbiome profiles,” notes Ioana Marin, a research student.

While the study still must be conducted on humans to determine whether the same results can be achieved, its breakthrough findings show promise. One potential issue with the research is the fact that it’s much harder to measure depression in mice than it is in humans.

Gaultier plans to first examine the effects of Lactobacillus on those with multiple sclerosis—sufferers also commonly experience depression.

“The big hope for this kind of research is that we won’t need to bother with complex drugs and side effects when we can just play with the microbiome,” says Gaultier. “It would be magical just to change your diet, to change the bacteria you take, and fix your health—and your mood.”

In the meantime, no clinically depressed individuals should solely eat yogurt in lieu of taking medication, the researchers warn.

The researchers published their findings in the journal Scientific Reports.

Research contact: @StudyFinds

Paleo Diet linked to heart disease biomarker

July 23, 2019

If you are not living the life of a hunter-gatherer, you probably shouldn’t be eating that way, results of a study have found.

Indeed, more than twice the amount of a key biomarker linked closely to heart disease has been found in the blood of people who adhere to the Paleo Diet.

Researchers from Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia have just completed the world’s first major study examining the impact of the Paleo Diet on gut bacteria.

The controversial Paleo (or “caveman”) Diet advocates eating meat, vegetables, nuts and limited fruit, therefore excluding grains, legumes, dairy, salt, refined sugar and processed oils.

ECU researchers compared 44 people who adhered to the diet with 47 who were following a traditional Australian diet.

They measured the amount of trimethylamine-n-oxide (TMAO) in the participants’ blood. High levels of TMAO, an organic compound produced in the gut, are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease—including heart attack, stroke, and death in patients who otherwise appear to be healthy, according to pioneering research conducted at the Cleveland Clinic in 2015. 

About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That equates to one in every four deaths.

Lead researcher Dr. Angela Genoni from ECU’s School of Medical and Health Sciences said: “Those who promote the Paleo Diet often cite it as beneficial for your gut health, but this research suggests there were adverse differences in those who followed the dietary pattern.”

She said the reason TMAO was so elevated in people on the Paleo Diet appeared to be due to the higher intake of red meats, but also because of the lack of whole grain intake.

“The Paleo Diet excludes all grains and we know that whole grains are a fantastic source of resistant starch, and many other fermentable fibers [that] are vital to the health of your gut microbiome,” Dr Genoni said.

“Because TMAO is produced in the gut, a lack of whole grains might change the populations of bacteria enough to enable higher production of this compound.

“Additionally, the Paleo Diet includes greater servings per day of red meat, which provides the precursor compounds to produce TMAO.”

Dr. Genoni presented the findings of her research at the 2018 Nutrition Society of Australia Conference in Canberra last November.

Research contact: a.genoni@ecu.edu.au