The state of our oral and intestinal microbiota is closely linked to our health. Imbalances in the oral microbiota can lead to pathogenic bacteria in the mouth, while the intestinal microbiota, which populates our gastrointestinal tract, has a profound impact on various aspects of human health, from maintaining normal nutrient metabolism and immune function to potentially triggering diseases like cancer and diabetes.
About Oral and Intestinal Microbiota
1.What is Oral Microbiota?
Our mouth is a home to hundreds of different microorganisms, collectively forming a significant microbial ecosystem in our oral cavity. The oral environment is highly complex, with various structural sites where bacteria can reside, including teeth, the tongue, hard palate, and soft palate. The oral environment is conducive to microbial growth due to its relative warmth and nutrient-rich conditions.
The most common bacteria found in the oral cavity belong to phyla such as Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria. Unlike the colon, the oral microbiota ecosystem is relatively stable and less prone to dramatic changes. The oral microbiota constitutes a complex microbial ecosystem that contributes to the stability of the oral environment.
2.What is Intestinal Microbiota?
The intestinal microbiota is also a complex microbial ecosystem consisting of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and archaea that work in harmony with the human body to provide a range of health benefits. These benefits include reinforcing the intestinal barrier, supporting the immune system, providing energy, and protecting against pathogenic microorganisms that could potentially make us ill.
When our intestinal environment is in optimal condition, intestinal bacteria and humans engage in a mutually beneficial relationship. If an imbalance occurs in the intestinal microbiota, pathogenic bacteria may dominate our gut, or the diversity of intestinal microbiota may decrease. Ultimately, this means that our intestines cannot work in synergy with us. These microorganisms can release unhealthy metabolites and toxins or trigger inflammation, all of which can impact our health.
Why Oolong Tea Can Help Regulate Oral and Intestinal Microbiota?
A study published in the journal "Nutrients" evaluated the oral microbiota of three healthy adults who consumed 1 liter (33 ounces) of loose leaf oolong tea daily for eight weeks. Researchers collected samples of their saliva microbiota before the intervention, during the treatment period, and at the end of the study, and conducted sequencing and analysis. The data showed that "consumption of oolong tea reduced saliva bacterial diversity and the abundance of certain oral disease-related bacteria, such as Streptococcus, Neisseria, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Rothia mucilaginosa, and Veillonella atypica." The results suggest that long-term consumption of oolong tea may alter your saliva microbiota and have a protective effect on oral health.
Additionally, multiple studies have also assessed the impact of oolong tea on regulating the human intestinal microbiota in laboratory and animal models. A study published in the journal "Food Research International" suggested that compounds commonly found in oolong tea, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epicatechin gallate (ECG), etc. can modulate the growth of intestinal bacteria. They can inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria while promoting the proliferation of beneficial bacteria. This research evaluated the impact of tea on the intestinal microbiota based on known anti-obesity properties. The results from this animal model study indicated that tea consumption significantly increased the diversity and structure of the intestinal microbiota, which could have implications for fat metabolism. Researchers also demonstrated that polyphenols extracted from green tea, oolong tea, and black tea can regulate the intestinal microbiota, leading to the production of more short-chain fatty acids, which benefit a healthy gut microbiota.
To achieve the consistent benefits of regulating oral and intestinal microbiota through oolong tea consumption, it's essential to not only incorporate oolong tea into your daily routine but also select high-quality oolong tea. Loose leaf tea generally offers better quality compared to tea bags. To purchase the best loose leaf tea, I recommend trying tea sampler and comparing different options.
Oolong Tea Recommendations
TieGuanyin is one of the premium varieties within the oolong tea category. It is not only the name of the tea but also the name of the tea tree variety. The name " TieGuanyin" translates to "Iron Goddess of Mercy" because of its heavy and tightly curled leaves, and it possesses both beauty and depth. The tea leaves are rolled into tightly coiled shapes, appearing plump and well-knit. After steeping, TieGuanyin offers a rich, sweet, and fresh flavor with a fragrant aroma. It leaves a lingering aftertaste and a sweet finish with hints of honey, earning it the reputation of "seven infusions with remaining fragrance."
Fenghuang Dancong refers to oolong tea produced from excellent individual tea bushes or varieties cultivated from the Fenghuang Shuixian variety in the Phoenix Mountain area of Chaozhou, under specific natural conditions. These teas are processed using unique techniques and are divided into more than 80 different strains, including those with aromas like Rougui, Huangzhi, and Milan.
iTeaworld offers an Oolong Tea Sampler that includes TieGuanyin and Fenghuang Dancong. Additionally, this Oolong Tea Selection features two more classic Chinese oolong teas that are well worth trying.
In this article, we have gained knowledge about oral and intestinal microbiota and learned why oolong tea can help regulate them. In your daily life, you can enjoy the oolong tea flavors you prefer to better take care of your oral and intestinal health.