Green Tea and Colitis Studies
How It Affect Diarrhoea and IBD

Three studies about green tea and colitis. How does your favorite cup affect diarrhoea and IBD?



Colitis is a general term for inflammation in the lining of the bowel. Inflammation causes the colon to empty frequently resulting in diarrhoea. It can be caused by irritable bowel disorder (IBD), the general term for diseases that cause inflammation in the small intestine and colon.

Green tea is anti-inflammatory, so it may help people suffering from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Studies have shown that green tea EGCG can block interleukin 8, which is an inflammatory cytokine.

In addition, because green tea has been found to prevent colon cancer, people with IBD may benefit because they are already at an increased risk of developing colon cancer.

Here are the studies to date. Enjoy.

2005 Italian Study

A 2005 preliminary study conducted by Policlinico Universitario, Messina, Italy, suggests that green tea may be used to treat colitis.

Rats were subjected to experimental colitis induced by intracolonic instillation of the DNBS acid. They drank green tea extract for 4 days.

The green tea extract was found to significantly reduce diarrhoea and weight loss. The rats’ colons also responded positively.

This green tea and colitis study was published in the September 2005 edition of Free Radical Research Journal.

2001 American Study

A 2001 study conducted by the University of Kentucky found that green tea polyphenols may be used to treat chronic inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colitis.

Laboratory rats that suffered from interleukin-2–deficient were randomly selected to drink either water mixed with tea polyphenols or plain water for up to 6 weeks.

The scientists found that green tea polyphenols alleviate inflammation and increase body weight. This study was published in Journal of Nutrition in 2001.

1991 Japanese Study

A 1991 study shows the risk of drinking too much green tea.

Researchers in Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan found that those who drink more than 7 cups of green tea a day are more likely to suffer from ulcerative colitis.

Ulcerative colitis is a disease that causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the rectum and colon. Ulcers form where inflammation has killed cells that usually line the colon. It causes bleeding and pus. 

The study consisted of 100 individuals. 50 suffered from ulcerative colitis, the other 50 were healthy adults. They were interviewed about their regular diets, personal habits, past and family histories.

After adjusting for age and sex, the scientists found that those who eat more rice (4 or more bowls a day), bread (3 or more times a week) and green tea (7 or more cups a day) are more likely to suffer from ulcerative colitis.

This green tea and colitis study was published in the February 1991 edition of Nippon Eiseigaku Zasshi, a Japanese language journal.

Further Information

Have a question about colitis or IBS? Join in the discussion on how green tea may be able to help at Green Tea and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

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