If you needed any extra excuse to sit down with a cuppa at morning tea, or any other time, here it is.
Researchers at UCLA in the US have shown for the first time that black tea could help with weight loss, as well as having other healthy benefits.
It’s been known for a while that chemicals called polyphenols in green tea are absorbed and alter the energy metabolism in the liver, aiding weight loss, but that black tea polyphenols were too large to be absorbed in the same way. As a result, regular old tea has been heavily overshadowed by its fancier, green counterpart by many people seeking healthier foods and drinks.
However, the UCLA study has shown that instead, the black team polyphenols help stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the gut and cause short-chain fatty acids to form – both things that can, like green tea polyphenols that are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, alter the liver’s energy metabolism. In short, it looks like black tea could be just as good as green tea for your health.
“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,” Susanne Henning, lead author of the research, said. “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 scientists found that mice dosed with either type of tea extract had less of the bacteria associated with obesity and more of the bacteria associated with lead body mass, which suggests that the benefits of both teas go beyond the antioxidant effect and actually impact gut bacteria, which can in turn impact weight gain and loss.
Zhaoping Li, a senior author on the study, said that the findings were a good reason for black-tea lovers to keep drinking it.
The study doesn’t appear to comment, however, on the results of adding milk and sugar to the back tea.