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Green tea is thought to have various beneficial health effects, including feeding bacteria and maintaining a healthy gut flora* or ‘gut microbiome’. This is why we use green tea extract in our popular Happy Tum formulation.

What is less well known are the effects on what we call the ‘skin metabolome’. Skin retains numerous compounds (metabolites) which are produced by their residing bacteria. Some of these compounds fulfil specific physiological roles, while others are by-products of metabolism and don’t have a role.

A study by Jung et al, (2019) was conducted to evaluate the effects of 7-days of supplementation of green tea extract or its components, epigallocatechin gallate, caffeine, and theanine, on the bowel bacteria and the resulting metabolites of these bacteria within the bowel and/skin of mice. When UV light, mimicking sunlight was shone onto the supplemented mice, the effects of short-term supplementation with dietary compounds were evaluated. The results were then compared to mice which did not have any supplements but were given UV light.

Inside the bowel, green tea extract showed the most remarkable effects (compared to individual components of tea). Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species (friendly bacteria) were considerably increased by short-term green tea extract supplementation, while more harmful species of bacteria such as Clostridium butyricum were significantly increased by UV stress when a mouse was not supplemented. The higher the friendly bacteria, the higher the metabolites found. Green tea extract supplementation helped the skin defend against UV stress, presumably caused by a change in skin bacteria and the resulting metabolites.

It is thought that green tea extract acts like a ‘prebiotic’, feeding our friendly bacteria. Altruvita Green Tea Extract is a 300mg, one a day, low caffeine extract, costing as little as 14p a day when purchasing a 12-month subscription.