Green Tea Fights Fat
Green Tea Ingredient May Promote Healthy Weight Loss
Jan. 26, 2005 -- Need another healthy reason to drink green tea? Aside from
fighting heart disease, cancer, and other diseases, a new study shows that
drinking green tea may also fight fat.
The study showed that people who drank a bottle of tea fortified with green
tea extract every day for three months lost more body fat than those who drank
a bottle of regular oolong tea.
Researchers say the results indicate that substances found in green tea
known as catechins may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn
calories and decreasing body fat.
The findings appear in the January issue of the American Journal of
Green Tea: Fat Fighter?
Black tea, oolong tea, and green tea come from the same Camellia
sinensis plant. But unlike the other two varieties, green tea leaves are
not fermented before steaming and drying.
Most teas contain large amounts of polyphenols, which are plant-based
substances that have been shown to have antioxidant, anticancer, and antiviral
However, green tea is particularly rich in a type of polyphenols called
catechins. These substances have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and
anticancer properties, but recent research in animals show that catechins may
also affect body fat accumulation and cholesterol levels.
In this study, researchers looked at the effects of catechins on body fat
reduction and weight loss in a group of 35 Japanese men. The men had similar
weights based on their
(body mass index, an indicator of body fat) and waist sizes.
The men were divided into two groups. For three months, the first group
drank a bottle of oolong tea fortified with green tea extract containing 690
milligrams of catechins, and the other group drank a bottle of oolong tea with
22 milligrams of catechins.
During this time, the men ate identical breakfasts and dinners and were
instructed to control their calorie and fat intake at all times so that overall
total diets were similar.
After three months, the study showed that the men who drank the green tea
extract lost more weight (5.3 pounds vs. 2.9 pounds) and experienced a
significantly greater decrease in BMI, waist size, and total body fat.
In addition, LDL "bad" cholesterol went down in the men who drank
the green tea extract.
The catechin content varies by amount of green tea used and steeping time.
But general recommendations, based on previous studies on the benefits of green
tea, are at least 4 cups a day. Green tea extract supplements are also
Researchers say the results indicate that catechins in green tea not only
help burn calories and lower LDL cholesterol but may also be able to mildly
reduce body fat.
"These results suggest that catechins contribute to the prevention of
and improvement in various lifestyle-related diseases, particularly
obesity," write researcher Tomonori Nagao of Health Care Products Research
Laboratories in Tokyo, and colleagues.