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Meet The Blood-Sugar-Balancing Tea You’ve Never Heard Of

Admittedly, there aren’t many peer-reviewed articles published on the health values of this fermented tea, but there are a few studies out there. One demonstrated that black tea extract from pu-ehr tea significantly reduces cholesterol levels and could be a safe and useful tool in improving cholesterol plaque formation and/or obesity in those with metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is essentially a condition that is defined by having increased blood pressure, excess blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. When you have all of these factors together, you have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Sounds like a pretty good natural method to help with some of the most common chronic conditions we have in this country, don’t you think?

Another study showed that Chinese black tea had specific anti-cholesterol effect in rodents, and the authors went on to propose that it could potentially have some role in the management of elevated cholesterol in humans. Even more interesting, a recent study suggested that pu-ehr tea had neuroprotective properties and was able to protect neural cells from necrosis and even relieved epilepsy in rats. Another recent study suggested that pu-ehr tea significantly lowered uric acid levels and could play a role in helping those with elevated uric acid, which can occur for a variety of reasons including thyroid issues, drinking too much, and taking diuretics.

Probably one of the most exciting studies, published just last month, examined the impact this special kind of black tea could have on the gut microbiome and its ecosystem. The study authors took aqueous extracts of fermented and non-fermented pu-erh teas and looked at the composition and function of the gut microbiome in rats who had diet-induced obesity. What they found was that both types of extracts significantly increased the gut microbiome diversity and changed the composition of the gut microbes in the cecum (the far end of the colon). The scientists described how the polyphenols in the tea and their metabolites promoted the growth of Akkermansia muciniphila bacteria, which is one of the “good guys.” The presence and activity of this type of bacteria has been inversely associated with obesity, diabetes, inflammation, and metabolic disorders.

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