Your digestive tract alters green tea polyphenols to produce major health benefits

It’s a jungle down there!

In your gut, that is. You have good bacteria, bad bacteria, digestive enzymes, bile, pancreatic juices, and of course that piece of Chiclet gum you swallowed when your teacher caught you chewing it in second grade.

So scientists at Newcastle University in the UK wondered how polyphenols in green tea actually hold up as they make their way through the digestive tract.

It’s important to know because polyphenols bind certain toxic compounds that play a role in Alzheimer’s development. But these polyphenols have to function properly in the daunting gut environment in order to produce a brain-protective benefit.

Results of the Newcastle testing showed that green tea polyphenols are broken down in the gut and form a mix of beneficial compounds.

Here’s how one of the researchers described the results to UPI: “We found when green tea is digested by enzymes in the gut, the resulting chemicals are actually more effective against key triggers of Alzheimer’s development than the undigested form of the tea.”

In addition, the digested compounds also had anti-cancer qualities that slowed tumor cell growth.

Of course, we still don’t know if they can do anything for that Chiclet.

“Green tea protects against Alzheimer’s” UPI, 1/8/11,

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