Researchers from Oklahoma State University sought to shed light on the relationship between green tea supplementation and various risk factors for obese subjects. And what they found was interesting indeed.
In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the researchers randomly assigned 35 subjects with obesity and metabolic syndrome to one of one of three conditions.
- The control group got a daily drink of 4 cups of water.
- The second group got 4 cups of green tea.
- The third got 2 caps a day of green tea extract supplements of the active ingredient in the beverage (known as EGCG or eppigallocatechin-3-galate) plus 4 cups of water.
Both the tea-only and the EGCG-supplement plus water group received the identical amount of EGCG per day, whether it came from the tea or the water.
The researchers found both the group getting the green tea beverage and the group getting the green tea extracts (ECGC supplements) experienced a significant decrease in body weight and in BMI (Body Mass Index). (The controls saw no such decrease.)
This is hardly the first time green tea or green tea supplements have been shown to have an effect on risk factors, nor is it the first time they’ve been shown to have an effect on fat loss and body weight.
A 2003 study found that a blend of tea polyphenols derived from green tea improved both lipid (fat) and glucose (sugar) metabolism in an animal study. The tea supplement also enhanced insulin sensitivity, and balanced the metabolic rate of fat burning with the metabolic rate of fat deposit (meaning nothing extra stored as fat!)
The late great nutritionist, Shari Lieberman, PhD, CNS wrote that green tea stimulates the metabolism of brown fat to a far greater degree than a comparable amount of caffeine alone. “It appears that substances known as catechin-polyphenlols, in particular one called epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC), stimulates the production of noradrenaline, which in turns revs up your metabolism”, Dr. Shari says. “Studies have shown that using green tea even without restricting food (dieting) causes weight loss- using it with a weight-loss eating plan should give you excellent results”(1)
As an added benefit, a 2010 study showed that the healthful substances in green tea- renown for their powerful antioxidant and disease-fighting properties- actually penetrate the tissues of the eye. Apparently many of the green tea “catechins” are loaded with antioxidants that can protect the eyes. This includes the new superstars of eye nutrition the carotenoids lutein and zeaxnthin, not to mention vitamin C and vitamin E. “Our results indicate that green tea consumption could benefit the eye against oxidative stress”, the researchers conclude.
My favorite green tea supplement is the high quality EGCG green tea extract by Designs for Health »
Save big when you buy 3 bottles of green tea extract »
I also recommend drinking tea regularly throughout the day.
1) Lieberman, S. and Bruning, “Dare to loose”, (Avery/ Penguin, 2002)