Long-Term Green Tea Supplementation Does Not Change the Human Gut Microbiota

Pilou L H R Janssens, John Penders, Rick Hursel, Andries E Budding, Paul H M Savelkoul, Margriet S Westerterp-Plantenga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Green tea catechins may play a role in body weight regulation through interactions with the gut microbiota.

AIM: We examined whether green tea supplementation for 12 weeks induces changes in composition of the human gut microbiota.

METHODS: 58 Caucasian men and women were included in a randomized, placebo-controlled design. For 12 weeks, subjects consumed either green tea (>0.56 g/d epigallocatechin-gallate + 0.28 ∼ 0.45 g/d caffeine) or placebo capsules. Fecal samples were collected twice (baseline, vs. week 12) for analyses of total bacterial profiles by means of IS-profiling, a 16S-23S interspacer region-based profiling method.

RESULTS: No significant changes between baseline and week 12 in subjects receiving green tea or placebo capsules, and no significant interactions between treatment (green tea or placebo) and time (baseline and week 12) were observed for body composition. Analysis of the fecal samples in subjects receiving green tea and placebo showed similar bacterial diversity and community structures, indicating there were no significant changes in bacterial diversity between baseline and week 12 in subjects receiving green tea capsules or in subjects receiving placebo capsules. No significant interactions were observed between treatment (green tea or placebo) and time (baseline and week 12) for the gut microbial diversity. Although, there were no significant differences between normal weight and overweight subjects in response to green tea, we did observe a reduced bacterial alpha diversity in overweight as compared to normal weight subjects (p = 0.002).

CONCLUSION: Green tea supplementation for 12 weeks did not have a significant effect on composition of the gut microbiota.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01556321.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0153134
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Adult
  • Body Composition
  • Caffeine
  • Catechin
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Feces
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Humans
  • Journal Article
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Tea
  • Young Adult

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