green tea versus matcha

Green tea versus matcha for the gut microbiome

Today we look at a recently published paper about the green tea versus matcha and it’s benefits on the gut microbiome.

The journal:

Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition

The paper:

A randomized, double-blinded study evaluating effect of matcha green tea on human fecal microbiota (Mar 2023).

The authors: 

So Morishima, Yuki Kawada, Yoichi Fukushima, Tomohisa Takagi, Yuji Naito, and Ryo Inoue

What is the difference between green tea and matcha?

Matcha green tea (MGT) and green tea both come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. However, MGT is made by grinding the entire Japanese green tea leaf into a fine powder, while green tea is made by steeping the leaves in water.

MGT contains higher levels of theanine, an amino acid shown to have a calming effect on the body. It also has a higher concentration of chlorophyll compared to green tea. Chlorophyll promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus.


green tea versus matcha

Green tea versus matcha. What’s better for the gut microbiome? 

Overall, both green tea and MGT may have potential benefits on the microbiome. However, the higher concentration of beneficial compounds in matcha tea make it a more potent source of microbiome benefits.

According to the study, consumption of MGT resulted in an increase in the abundance of Coprococcus and a decrease in Fusobacterium in the gut microbiota. Coprococcus is a genus of bacteria that produces healthy short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Short chain fatty acids, like butyrate, have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. 

On the other hand, Fusobacterium is linked to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer.


Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant found in many plant-based foods, including tea. MGT is particularly rich in polyphenols, including a type of polyphenol called catechins

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is a type of catechin, found in green tea and is especially abundant in matcha green tea. EGCG is a potent antioxidant with a range of potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.

The paper suggests that the high levels of catechins, including EGCG, found in MGT may be responsible for its positive effects on gut microbiota. Catechins have been shown to have prebiotic effects by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.


Dietary fiber is another important nutrient found in MGT. Unlike regular green tea, matcha tea contains the whole tea leaf, which makes it richer in insoluble dietary fiber. Insoluble fiber has been shown to promote regular bowel movements and improve digestive health by bulking up stool and promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. 

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