Scientists from Vanderbilt University and elsewhere found that drinking tea may boost gut health in older men.
Tea has been linked to several health benefits.
It contains antioxidants that help protect cells from damage, and research suggests that tea consumption may be associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, tea has been shown to improve cognitive function and may help with weight management.
This study looked at how drinking tea affects the type of bacteria in the gut of older Chinese adults.
The researchers studied 1179 men and 1078 women who reported their tea-drinking habits at different times between 1996 and 2017 and had their stool collected between 2015 and 2018.
The researchers used a technique called 16S rRNA sequencing to analyze the types of bacteria in the participants’ guts.
They then looked for associations between tea-drinking habits and the types of bacteria in the gut.
The researchers found that tea drinking was not linked to the overall number of different types of bacteria (called alpha-diversity) in the gut of either men or women.
However, tea-drinking habits were linked to the types of bacteria present (called beta-diversity) in the gut of men. Men who drank tea had different types of bacteria in their gut compared to men who did not drink tea.
Specifically, current tea drinking, especially green tea drinking, was linked to an increase in two types of bacteria in men: Synergistales and RF39.
Men who drank more than 3.3 cups of tea per day had higher levels of certain bacteria, such as Collinsella and Coprococcus, compared to men who did not drink tea.
The researchers also found that the increased level of Coprococcus bacteria in men who drank tea was linked to a lower risk of high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a condition where a person’s blood pressure is too high, and it can lead to heart disease and stroke.
The researchers concluded that drinking tea may affect the types of bacteria in the gut of older Chinese men and that certain bacteria may contribute to a lower risk of high blood pressure.
However, the researchers noted that more research is needed to understand the link between tea drinking and gut bacteria, especially in women.
They also suggested that future studies should test how specific gut bacteria may change the health benefits of tea.
The research was published in The Journal of Nutrition and conducted by Lei Wang et al.
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