How Pu’er Tea Improves NAFLD
Expect to hear a lot about pu’er tea in the coming years – and not just from tea aficionados. Pu’er Tea Improves NAFLD.
Researchers have taken a special interest in pu’er tea. It shows a great deal of promise as a natural way to protect the liver, support metabolism and address several growing health problems in the U.S. today. One specific condition recent research has shown it to help is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD.
NAFLD: A Growing Health Problem
Rates of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease continue to rise in the United States. The latest data says 31% of U.S. adults have NAFLD.[i] According to a 2016 study, children in the U.S. are developing NAFLD with rates possibly as high as 20% of children having the condition![ii]
NAFLD is diagnosed when more than 5-10% of an individual’s liver weight is from fat. It’s not a condition that can be seen and a person can have it without visibly showing symptoms. If the condition worsens, the liver can become inflamed and the tissue damaged, leading to more serious conditions like cirrhosis.
Weight gain, obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome are common conditions associated with NAFLD. Recently studies have reported the effects of NAFLD may also increase cardiovascular risk factors.[iii] Yet, despite the greater likelihood that someone with NAFLD might suffer from one of these common chronic conditions, a person can also appear perfectly healthy and have a fatty liver.[iv]
High-fat diets and consumption of large amounts of added sugars combined with diets lacking nutrition are considered the primary causes of NAFLD. Smoking and drugs like acetaminophen also impair the liver and increase the risk of developing a fatty liver. Environmental factors like herbicides may affect the liver too according to research.[v]
While the simplest solution would be a less sedentary lifestyle and a return to diets featuring natural, non-processed foods, many people need help now. And that’s where pu’er tea can help.
China’s Unique Fermented Tea
Fermentation makes pu’er tea different from every other tea in the world. Pu’er tea shares some similar characteristics with green tea, such as high levels of the potent antioxidant EGCG. Being fermented however, pu’er tea has a nutrient profile that includes probiotic organisms and unique nutrients such as L-theanine, an amino acid known to support the brain and relieve stress and anxiety.[vi]
For research purposes, scientists have developed pu’er tea extract to ensure consistency of dose and potency. Based on the results of the studies, expect to see pu’er tea extract on “store” shelves soon.
How Pu’er Tea Protects Against NAFLD and Supports a Healthy Liver
Research into pu’er tea began years ago. The results have been exceedingly positive.
- An extract of pu’er tea called Deepure Tea reduced liver fat in a 2015 study using animal models.[vii] The researchers noted the subjects that received the Deepure Tea had lower liver enzyme levels, improved insulin response, lower blood sugar and better LDL cholesterol levels, indicating an overall healthier liver.
- One study reported that the flavonoids in pu’er tea improve fat metabolism by the body.[viii]
- Overweight Japanese adults treated with pu’er tea extract had significant reductions in visceral fat around the waist and better lipid metabolism after 12 weeks of supplementation.[ix]
- 59 obese or overweight adults who took pu’er tea extract for 20 weeks had lower total fat mass, especially in the waist, legs and arms. Their cholesterol and triglyceride levels also decreased.[x]
Quite simply, pu’er tea supports liver function improving how the body handles blood sugar and by increasing fat metabolism. These two effects show a lot of promise for pu’er tea. For those who enjoy drinking it, they can enjoy the experience and know they’re getting exceptional health benefits. For others, extracts like Deepure may offer an effective way to protect their liver, lose weight and enjoy overall better health.
[i] Le MH, Devaki P, Ha NB, et al. Prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and risk factors for advanced fibrosis and mortality in the United States. Yu M-L, ed. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(3):e0173499. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0173499.
[ii] L Temple, Jonathan & Cordero, Paul & Li, Jiawei & Nguyen, Vi & Oben, Jude. (2016). A Guide to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Childhood and Adolescence. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 17. 947. 10.3390/ijms17060947.
[iii] Motamed N, et al. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and 10-year risk of cardiovascular diseases. Clin Res Hepatol Gastroenterol. 2017 Feb;41(1):31-38. doi: 10.1016/j.clinre.2016.07.005. Epub 2016 Aug 31.
[iv] Verdelho Machado M, Cortez-Pinto H. Fatty liver in lean patients: is it a different disease? Annals of Gastroenterology. 2012;25(1):1-2.
[v] Mesnage R1, et al. Multiomics reveal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats following chronic exposure to an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide. Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 9;7:39328. doi: 10.1038/srep39328.
[vi] Yoto A, Motoki M, Murao S, Yokogoshi H. Effects of L-theanine or caffeine intake on changes in blood pressure under physical and psychological stresses.Journal of Physiological Anthropology. 2012;31(1):28. doi:10.1186/1880-6805-31-28.
[vii] Jing-Na Deng, Juan Li, Hong-Na Mu, et al., “Deepure Tea Improves High Fat Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2015, Article ID 980345, 8 pages, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/980345.
[viii] Hai-Peng Lv, et la. Bioactive compounds from Pu-erh tea with therapy for hyperlipidaemia. Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 19, Part A, 2015, Pages 194-203, ISSN 1756-4646. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2015.09.047.
[ix] Kubota K1, et al. Improvements of mean body mass index and body weight in preobese and overweight Japanese adults with black Chinese tea (Pu-Erh) water extract. Nutr Res. 2011 Jun;31(6):421-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2011.05.004. Epub 2011 Jun 17.
[x] Jensen GS1, et al. Reduction of body fat and improved lipid profile associated with daily consumption of a Puer tea extract in a hyperlipidemic population: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Clin Interv Aging. 2016 Mar 24;11:367-76. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S94881. eCollection 2016.