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But You'd Have to Drink a Lot of Tea to Match Preliminary Lab Tests in Mice

Jan. 23, 2008 -- The benefits of green tea might include blocking fat and keeping extra pounds at bay, according to preliminary lab tests in mice.

Don't skip over that word "preliminary." There's no proof yet that sipping green tea will do the same for people. Staying in shape continues to be a balancing act between calories and activity.

Here's what those preliminary lab tests in mice show:

  • Less weight and fat gain. Among mice with an obesity gene, those that ate chow laced with green tea extract gained less weight and less fat.
  • Less fat in the liver. There was less sign of "fatty liver" disease in the mice with the obesity gene that ate chow laced with green tea extract.
  • Lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in mice with the obesity gene that ate the chow laced with green tea extract, compared to other mice with the same obesity gene.

A healthy liver isn't fatty. But obesity -- in mice or in people -- can lead to fatty buildup in the liver and cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

As for that green tea extract, the study used it in doses equal to what a person would get from drinking at least seven cups of green tea a day.

The University of Connecticut's Richard Bruno, PhD, RD, and colleagues report their findings in February's edition of The Journal of Nutrition.

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