Black Tea Reduces Diet-Induced Obesity in Mice via Modulation of Gut Microbiota and Gene Expression in Host Tissues

Nutrients. 2022 Apr 14;14(8):1635. doi: 10.3390/nu14081635.


Black tea was reported to alter the microbiome populations and metabolites in diet-induced obese mice and displays properties that prevent obesity, but the underlying mechanism of the preventative effect of black tea on high-fat diet (HFD) induced obesity has not been elucidated. Epigenetic studies are a useful tool for determining the relationship between obesity and environment. Here, we show that the water extract of black tea (Lapsang souchong, LS) reverses HFD-induced gut dysbiosis, alters the tissue gene expression, changes the level of a major epigenetic modification (DNA methylation), and prevents obesity in HFD feeding mice. The anti-obesity properties of black tea are due to alkaloids, which are the principal active components. Our data indicate that the anti-obesity benefits of black tea are transmitted via fecal transplantation, and the change of tissue gene expression and the preventative effects on HFD-induced obesity in mice of black tea are dependent on the gut microbiota. We further show that black tea could regulate the DNA methylation of imprinted genes in the spermatozoa of high-fat diet mice. Our results show a mechanistic link between black tea, changes in the gut microbiota, epigenetic processes, and tissue gene expression in the modulation of diet-induced metabolic dysfunction.

Keywords: DNA methylation; black tea; gut microbiota; imprinted genes; obesity; tissue gene expression.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Camellia sinensis*
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Gene Expression
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Tea


  • Tea