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A Zen priest, Eisai, in his book "Kissayojoki" explained about the effectiveness of green tea for improving fecal conditions. Constipation is caused by various matters such as foods, changes in life, nervousness, absence of breakfast and lack of exercises. One of the life style related diseases is intestine cancer. One of the causes of constipation is said to be insufficient consumption of dietary fiber. There are more than 100 trillion bacteria of over 100 different species. They are called intestinal flora. Among intestinal flora, there are good ones such as colon bacillus, and bad ones such as bacillus. When there are more bad ones, you will have diarrhea or constipation. Bifidobacterium are one of the good ones that play an important role in maintaining our health, such as bowel modulating. Tea catechins are bactericidal with bad bacteria but they increase bifidobacteria, the good ones. It means that tea catechins increase bifidobacteria, which modulate bowel. The report shows the increases of feces and good bacteria. However, it is necessary to continue to drink tea because intestinal flora returns to its initial condition without catechins. Tea catechins are expected to be very effective in bowel modulating just like lactic acid bacteria, and dietary fiber.

(Fumiko Hayakawa)