Is green tea useful to treat food allergies?

If you are a tea lover, there is good news as researchers have revealed that consuming green tea can help fight food allergies. A food allergy occurs when your immune system overreacts to a food or a substance in a food. The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, found that drinking green tea increases the abundance of gut bacteria that help suppress allergic immune responses.

For the findings, the research team at Shinshu University in Japan analyzed green tea and the abundance of Flavonifractor plautii (FP) bacteria found in the intestine. PF has been reported to be part of the metabolism of catechin in the intestines. Catechin is an antioxidant found in a variety of foods, including green tea, of which 30 to 42 percent of its dry weight is catechin. The researchers found that oral administration of FP strongly suppresses the Th2 immune response to food allergies in vivo.

The food we eat affects the complex cocktail of different strains of bacteria in the gut, they said.

Drinking green tea increases the abundance of FP (Flavonifractor plautii) that suppresses the Th2 immune response. FP is a strain of the Clostridia family of bacteria, known to have effects on the immune system, markedly inhibiting inflammation.

According to the study, some strains of clostridia promise to lower blood pressure, and some are known to be abundant in thin people rather than heavier people, leading researchers to believe they can be used to regulate weight. However, the researchers noted that more studies are needed to analyze the safety of PF before it can be used as a probiotic to treat allergies.