Reporting in the research journal Obesity, researchers continue to mount crucial evidence to support green tea as an agent in the war against overweight and obesity. Green tea (and its less refined cousin, white tea) is shown to slow weight gain and may be a key tool in the obesity epidemic impacting the health of millions of children and adults in western cultures.
Mice supplemented with the active compound found in green tea, Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) were fed a high-fat diet and gained weight much slower than their control counterparts. The findings demonstrate the potent effect of the natural tea extract when coupled with a healthy, calorie-reduced diet that minimizes processed carbohydrate foods and hydrogenated fat sources.
Green Tea Extract Shown to Slow Weight Gain By 45 Percent
Extensive scientific research has been performed on green tea and the potent EGCG extract. Most of this work has shown a direct link between green tea consumption and lowered risk of Alzheimer`s dementia, many digestive cancers, cardiovascular disease as well as being an aid in weight management. Green tea contains between 30 and 40 percent polyphenols that contribute to its myriad of health benefits. Common black tea contains between 3 and 10 percent polyphenols, as the leaves have been highly refined to remove the naturally occurring compounds.
Research leader Joshua Lambert, assistant professor of food science in agricultural sciences at Penn State University and his team determined to expand on prior research showing that green tea consumption promotes healthy body weight. The researchers used obese mice genetically predisposed to gain weight. The mice were broken into two groups; each fed a high fat diet. The test group was supplemented with EGCG in their drinking water for a period of six weeks.
ECGC Polyphenols From Green Tea Cut Fat Absorption by Thirty Percent
The results showed that mice receiving the active EGCG component through supplementation, along with a high-fat diet, gained weight 45 percent more slowly than the control group of mice eating the same diet without EGCG. Lambert noted “Our results suggest that if you supplement with EGCG or green tea you gain weight more slowly.” Additionally, mice fed the green tea supplement showed a nearly 30 percent increase in lipid excretion, suggesting that the EGCG was limiting fat absorption by inhibiting pancreatic lipase. The study did not differentiate between caffeinated and caffeine-free green tea consumption, so caffeine sensitive individuals can attain similar results with non-caffeinated sources.
Researchers noted that green tea consumption did not appear to suppress appetite, an indicator that the weight reduction effect was due to inhibition of fat cell genesis. The authors concluded “Human data … shows that tea drinkers who only consume one or more cups a day will see effects on body weight compared to non-consumers.” Most nutritionists suggest 2 to 4 cups of green tea each day, or a standardized EGCG extract (500 mg to 1 gram daily) along with a calorically-balanced diet to achieve weight management success.