Drinking green tea ‘could help with food allergies’ – Cup with Sencha Tea/Green tea

Flavonoids in the drink have been found to improve the number of good bacteria in the gut.

A new study has suggested that drinking green tea could help food allergy sufferers.

Researchers from Shinshu University in Japan have discovered that certain gut microbes can affect how the immune system reacts to some allergens and found that the number of flavonoids, a diverse group of phytonutrients, can positively improve bacteria in the gut. 

Flavonifractor plautii (FP), which is found in the gut, is a strain of the Clostridia family of bacteria, which is known to have positive effects on the immune system and inhibits inflammation.

The study discovered that FP is triggered by the catechin antioxidant in green tea, and strongly suppresses a group of cells called Th2, which are responsible for the body’s reaction to food allergies. 

Some Clostridia strains were also shown to help lower blood pressure, and were more present in lean people, leading researchers to speculate that the bacteria could also be used to regulate weight. 

Dr. Tasuku Ogita managed to successfully cultivate the FP bacteria outside of the body, which took six months to accomplish. 

People in Japan are known to have a diet rich in fermented foods, which contain a high level of good bacteria and consume a large amount of green tea, which contains a high level of flavonoids and antioxidants. 

Scientists at Shinshu University are continuing to study the link between foods unique to Japanese culture, and the positive effects on the human body. They will next investigate the safety of FP before it can be used as an anti-allergy probiotic.

—Reuters