Anti-inflammatory Activities of Green Tea Catechins along the Gut-liver Axis in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Lessons Learned from Preclinical and Human Studies.
J Nutr Biochem. 2020 Aug 12:108478. Epub 2020 Aug 12. PMID: 32801031
Joanna K Hodges
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is the most prevalent hepatic disorder worldwide affecting 25% of the general population, describes a spectrum of progressive liver conditions ranging from relatively benign liver steatosis and advancing to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, and cirrhosis. Hallmark features of NASH are fatty hepatocytes and inflammatory cell infiltrates in association with increased activation of hepatic nuclear factor kappa-B (NFκB) that exacerbates liver injury. Because no pharmacological treatments exist for NAFLD, emphasis has been placed on dietary approaches to manage NASH risk. Anti-inflammatory bioactivities of catechin-rich green tea extract (GTE) have been well-studied, especially in preclinical models that have detailed its effects on inflammatory responses downstream of NFκB activation. This review will therefore discuss the experimental evidence that has advanced an understanding of the mechanisms by which GTE, either directly through its catechins or potentially indirectly through microbiota-derived metabolites, limits NFκB activation and NASH-associated liver injury. Specifically, it will describe the hepatic-level benefits of GTE that attenuate intracellular redox distress and pro-inflammatory signaling from extracellular receptors that otherwise activate NFκB. In addition, it will discuss theanti-inflammatory activities of GTE on gut barrier function as well as prebiotic and antimicrobial effects on gut microbial ecology that help to limit the translocation of gut-derived endotoxins (e.g. lipopolysaccharides) to the liver where they otherwise upregulate NFκB activation by Toll-like receptor-4 signaling. This summary is therefore expected to advance research translation of the hepatic- and intestinal-level benefits of GTE and its catechins to help manage NAFLD-associated morbidity.