Comparative effect of black, green, oolong, and white tea intake on weight gain and bile acid metabolism

Nutrition. 2019 Sep;65:208-215. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2019.02.006. Epub 2019 Mar 1.


Objective: The beneficial effects of tea on health, including obesity, are well known. However, the comparative effects of black, green, white, and oolong teas, which are prepared from the same fresh leaves, on weight gain and the potential mechanisms involved are not yet fully understood. Bile acids (BAs) are shown to be powerful regulators of metabolism; however, to our knowledge, no studies have investigated the effect of tea on BA metabolism. The aim of this study was to investigate the modulatory effects that green, black, white, and oolong teas that were prepared from the same raw tea leaves have on the plasma BA profile.

Methods: Female rats were dosed with the aforementioned tea types as their sole source of drinking fluid for 28 d. We then investigated their weight and effect on BA metabolic profile using advanced ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometer (UPLC-MS/MS)-based metabolomics.

Results: The UPLC-MS/MS analysis of the plasma show that the levels of murocholic acid, glycochenodeoxycholic acid, glycocholic acid, glycodeoxycholic acid, taurochenodeoxycholic acid, tauroursodeoxycholic acid, taurodeoxycholic acid, tauromuricholic acid, and taurocholic acid were increased; whereas levels of taurolithocholic acid and isolithocholic acid were decreased after drinking green, oolong, and white tea types compared with control. Surprisingly, oolong tea significantly influenced reduction in relative weight compared with control, black, and green tea; whereas black, green, and white teas had no effects on weight compared with control.

Conclusions: Green, black, oolong, and white teas altered the BA metabolism. This change in BA metabolism could be associated with the health benefit effects of tea. Oolong tea was most effective in reducing weight.

Keywords: Bile acid; Gut microbiota; Metabolomics; Microbiome; Modulation; Tea; UPLC-MS/MS; Weight.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile Acids and Salts / blood*
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Female
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves*
  • Rats
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Tea*
  • Weight Gain / drug effects*


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tea