Interactions of tea catechins with intestinal microbiota and their implication for human health

  • Tongtong Guo
  • Dan Song
  • Lu Cheng
  • Xin ZhangEmail author


Tea catechins have attracted strong interests in pharmacological field for their extensive biological activities; however, their bioavailability in vivo is relatively low. Recent studies have shown tea catechins can modulate the composition of intestinal microbiota and help to improve hosts’ health. Meanwhile, the gut flora plays a crucial role in regulating the production of the metabolites of tea catechins and their biological activity. Although the activities of tea catechins to promote intestinal micro-ecology have been extensively studied, little is known about the two-way phenol-microbial interactions. This review focuses on the modulatory effect of tea catechins on intestinal microbiota as well as the microbial degradation of tea catechins and the metabolites formed. Finally, the potential effects of tea catechins on chronic intestinal inflammation are emphasized.


Tea catechins Intestinal microbiota Bioavailability Health benefits 



This work was sponsored by Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (LY19C200006), the Key Research and Development Project of Zhejiang Province (2017C02039 and 2018C02047), and K.C. Wong Magna Fund in Ningbo University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Food Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Science and EngineeringNingbo UniversityNingboPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Food Science, RutgersThe State University of New JerseyNew BrunswickUSA

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