Consuming green tea could help fight food allergies by acting on gut microbes, which, in turn, affect allergic immune responses, according to a study from Shinshu University in Japan, published in the journal ‘Frontiers in Immunology’.
Tasuku Ogita, who recently joined Shinshu University, is an expert on teas and their effects on gut bacteria. In this study, his team analyzed green tea and the abundance of ‘Flavonifractor plautii’ (FP) bacteria found in the intestine. FP is part of the metabolism in the intestine of catechin, an antioxidant found in various foods, including green tea, of which 30 to 42% of its dry weight is catechin .
Tasuku Ogita, supervisor Takeshi Shimosato, and their team found that oral administration of FP strongly suppresses the Th2 immune response to food allergies in vivo. The foods we eat affect the complex cocktail of different strains of bacteria in the gut.
Drinking green tea increases the abundance of FP that suppresses the Th2 immune response. FP is a strain of the ‘Clostridia’ family of bacteria, known to have effects on the immune system, markedly inhibiting inflammation. Some ‘Clostridia’ strains also hold promise in lowering blood pressure, and some are known to be abundant in thin people but not in obese people, leading researchers to believe they can be used to regulate weight.
Dr. Ogita has successfully cultivated the FP, which took 6 months to complete . It is not easy to cultivate bacteria that grow inside the intestines outside their environment, so it was a success when he was able to “see the face” of this FP strain under a microscope since there was no photo of this bacterium until now.
Shinshu University is located in Nagano Prefecture, known throughout Japan for its variety of fermented foods with beneficial health effects. Due to its mountainous terrain, residents have had to endure long winters with no access to the outside world, cultivating a rich food culture of natural preserves like fermented miso pickles and lacto.
Today, its residents have the best health and longevity in Japan, and it achieves this with some of the lowest health care costs for the elderly in the country, meaning that people live long but are also healthier for more. weather.
Researchers at Shinshu University continue to work to study unique indigenous foods of Nagano and Japan, and metabolic processes in the body scientifically to share this knowledge with others around the world in the hope that they too can benefit from this culture.
Strains of FP bacteria may follow in the footsteps of lactic acid and bifidobacteria bacteria when added to foods for their desired functionality. However, more studies are needed to analyze the safety of FP before it can be used as an antiallergic probiotic.