The benefits of green tea and matcha are widespread, but new research suggests matcha may help prevent and event reverse metabolic syndrome.
In a new study, researchers' findings point to the daily consumption of green tea holding the potential to help reduce your risk of several health factors linked to metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome, sometimes also known as insulin resistance syndrome, is a cluster of different conditions or factors that increase your likelihood of suffering from coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other serious health problems.
Keep reading for our full report.
The randomized double-blind study set-up
Throughout the last twenty years, a robust amount of research has shown how regularly drinking green tea may help support good blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels – but it hasn't been until now that researchers have studied in this precise way exactly the reasons why daily green tea consumption could help address those 5 primary health risks associated with metabolic syndrome.
Green tea gummies equivalent to five cups of green tea?
The randomized, double-blind study was set up so forty participants – 19 healthy adults (male and female) and 21 adults with metabolic syndrome (male and female) – would consume a daily gummy-bear-like confection that had green tea extract equivalent to five cups of green tea for 28 days or a placebo gummy. Then, participants spent another 28 days taking a placebo or the gummy (depending on what they did first). So, in total, participants spent 12 weeks in the study, with one month off between the two four-week treatment cycles (placebo or green tea gummy).
During the trial, all the participants avoided polyphenols in their diet, the naturally occurring antioxidants found in many fruits, vegetables, teas, and spices. By doing this, the study's results could be attributed to green tea and green tea alone – not because of other antioxidant-rich foods in their diets. This is especially intriguing when considering matcha, as the antioxidant content of matcha is also a highly concentrated form of green tea antioxidants, perhaps just like the gummies in this test.
Side note: this study was conducted as a follow-up to a 2019 study, which associated fewer health risks and improved gut health in mice who consumed green tea supplements.
The new study, published in the Current Developments in Nutrition, delivered some very unexpected and promising findings.
The results of the study: Exactly how the researchers measured green tea's ability to address metabolic syndrome
The study's results revealed that all participants' fasting blood glucose levels were significantly lower after taking green tea extract compared to the placebo group.
The scientific findings also showed that daily green tea may do wonders for your gut and may help fix a leaky gut but decrease gut inflammation and permeability.
This was done through fecal samples that showed a reduction in pro-inflammatory proteins. During the trial, researchers could measure and find a direct link between decreased gut inflammation and taking the daily green tea gummy extracts for 28 days.
The research team also used a technique to assess sugar ratios in participants' urine samples, showing that four weeks of green tea decreased permeability in the small intestine.
"We did not attempt to cure metabolic syndrome with a one-month study," said Richard Bruno, a professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University and senior author of the study. But based on what we know now about the five factors that drive metabolic syndrome, there is huge potential for the daily consumption of green tea formats high in natural antioxidants (e.g. namely matcha in our minds) to not only help alleviate low-grade inflammation that often triggers so many cardiometabolic disorders – but also potentially clinically reverse some of those health risks altogether.
Nothing is proven 100% yet.... but lets dive deeper:
What are the five conditions of metabolic syndrome?
Want to know a bit more about metabolic syndrome? You may have metabolic syndrome if you fit three or more of the following conditions:
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar levels
- A large waistline (Apple shape)
- High Blood triglycerides
- Low HDL cholesterol
Metabolic syndrome is quite common in the United States, with an average of 1 in every three adults fitting the criteria. Still, there are lifestyle changes you can make to help delay or altogether prevent the development of some serious health problems down the line.
Natural ways to address metabolic syndrome
Often when you go to your doctor, and they diagnose you with metabolic syndrome, they tell you to focus on being committed to living a more healthy, sustainable lifestyle. Often, a healthy lifestyle includes:
- getting at least 30 minutes of exercise daily
- Maintain a healthy weight
- eating plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains
- Avoiding processed foods and too much saturated fats
- Don't smoke and only drink alcohol in moderation.
- New to the list: Drinking matcha daily
Why matcha green tea makes the list of the best natural ways to manage metabolic syndrome
As easy as it can be to read these five lifestyle choices and imagine yourself committing to them, it can be pretty hard to fit all these healthy lifestyle habits into your day-to-day life. We get it! It's hard to modify and make big changes to our daily routines.
What's especially difficult about addressing metabolic syndrome and its various factors is that generally, all the conditions don't require drug management. Yet… it's somehow all connected to your seemingly small and inconsequential daily choices – skipping out on workouts when you're stressed at work and ordering out more instead of cooking fresh meals— are examples that can be detrimental over time to your health.
Most people just can't realistically perfectly comply with all these healthy lifestyle modifications at all times. Enter matcha! Matcha is one of the best natural sources of antioxidants (debatably the highest in the world), packing over 100x the number of antioxidants in regular green tea in just one little serving – and it's not just us saying this either! Matcha for overall health and wellness is a rising research topic, with some studies focused on matcha directly. Meanwhile, green tea studies like this one also shed light on the power of matcha.... after all, it is 100% green tea powder.
That's what makes the findings in this new study just SO incredible– regardless of current health status, matcha green tea provides participants in this study a new food-based tool to help them manage their own risk for metabolic syndrome – and even have the potential to reverse it.
And that's where having the daily ritual of drinking matcha comes in. If you currently drink coffee, you may want to consider switching to matcha for its long list of supportive health benefits. Check out our article: HOW TO SWITCH FROM COFFEE TO MATCHA. This feels even more relevant now that some studies on coffee show that it may antagonize some of the same processes that green tea is noted to aid against in this study... food for thought... two birds one stone by switching to matcha?
The bottom line: Try drinking matcha for 28 days and notice how you feel.
Consuming green tea for at least four weeks has been shown to improve metabolic syndrome by lowering the risk of high blood pressure, inflammation, and obesity in test subjects. Findings also show that daily matcha may help fix a leaky gut, so while these new discoveries are still in their early phase of research, it's notable to consider how green tea matcha may be useful for your wellness, offering protective possibilities for your longevity and health.!
It is incredibly empowering to know that having a daily cup of matcha is one of the best ways to make a healthy lifestyle change that's genuinely additive. Now you may be able to lower your risk of metabolic syndrome with the daily practice of making a perfect cup of matcha– and it doesn't involve having to break a sweat or not allowing yourself to have ice cream.
Wrapping up our thoughts on this study, we welcome you to try and commit to drinking or consuming matcha in some way, shape, or form for 28 days!
* * *
p.s. Wondering exactly how much matcha you should drink in a day?! Check out our article THE BEST TIME TO DRINK MATCHA DAILY | HOW MUCH MATCHA SHOULD I DRINK IN A DAY?You may also like:
- Joanna Hodges, Min Zeng, Sisi Cao, Avinash Pokala, Shahabbedin Rezaei, Geoffrey Sasaki, Yael Vodovotz, Richard Bruno. Catechin-Rich Green Tea Extract Reduced Intestinal Inflammation and Fasting Glucose in Metabolic Syndrome and Healthy Adults: A Randomized, Controlled, Crossover Trial. Current Developments in Nutrition, 2022; 6 (Supplement_1): 981 DOI: 10.1093/cdn/nzac068.010
- Kochman, J., Jakubczyk, K., Antoniewicz, J., Mruk, H., & Janda, K. (2020). Health Benefits and Chemical Composition of Matcha Green Tea: A Review. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(1), 85. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26010085
- Swarup S, Goyal A, Grigorova Y, et al. Metabolic Syndrome. [Updated 2022 May 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459248/