A recent study shows that green tea or green tea supplements (EGCG) can help people lose weight.
Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center took 35 subjects with obesity and metabolic syndrome and randomly assigned them to one of three groups.
Group one drank four cups of green tea a day for eight weeks. Group two took green tea extract capsules plus four glasses of water on a daily basis for the same eight weeks, and group three- the control group- drank four glasses of water daily with no green tea or green tea supplements.
Both groups one (tea drinkers) and two (supplement takers) received an equal amount of the active ingredient in green tea- epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG.
The results were impressive. Compared to the control group, both the green tea supplement group and the green tea drinking group had a significant decrease in body weight and BMI.
This is hardly the first time green tea and its active ingredient, EGCG, have been shown to improve body composition. A 2009 study on rats showed that both green tea and black tea reduced body fat, but green tea and EGCG supplements both increased lean body mass. All three also improved glucose tolerance. And a 2006 review article, “Anti-obesity effects of green tea” stated that “Studies conducted with human subjects report reduced body weight and boy fat…. and thereby confirm findings in cell culture systems and animal models of obesity”.
Want more? A 2005 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that subjects ingesting one bottle of tea per day containing 690 mg of catechins had significantly lower body weight, BMI, body fat mass and subcutaneous fat area than a control group consuming only 22 mg of catechins a day.
Plant chemicals in tea known as catechins have long been found to have anti-cancer effects. And a 2004 article in the medical journal Circulation concluded that “the more green tea patients consume, the less likely they are to have coronary artery disease”.
Tea- all kinds, actually—offers powerful antioxidant protection, reduces blood sugar, is anti-inflammatory, lowers cholesterol, protects against heart disease and caner, and has the ability to stimulate the metabolism.
For an innocuous and common little beverage that costs next to nothing, that’s a pretty powerful resume.