Green tea (and its less refined cousin, white tea) has been a part of the ancient Chinese tradition for countless generations, in large part due to its rich endowment of bioactive catechins. Many studies over the past decade have shown that green tea is a powerful tool to improve metabolism in a way that is supportive of weight loss.
Scientists publishing in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry demonstrate that it activates genes associated with fat burning while also helping to reduce absorption of fat from the digestive tract. Further evidence on the gene-altering activity of green tea is reported in the International Journal of Cardiology, as polyphenols from the drink lower free radical damage to help maintain telomere length in heart cells. Drinking several cups of green tea each day may hold the key to effective weight management and cardiac health.
Green Tea Supplementation Assists Weight Loss by Reducing Abdominal Fat Stores
Researchers from the Departments of Chemical Biology and Pharmacology and Toxicology at Rutgers University in New Jersey examined the effect of green tea supplementation on obese mice, known to exhibit similar metabolic characteristics to humans. The animals were broken into two groups and both were fed a traditional high fat/Western style diet. One group received water supplemented with the green tea bioactive catechin EGCG, while the second group acted as a non-supplemented control.
The study determined that EGCG supplementation significantly reduced body weight gain associated with increased fecal lipids and decreased blood glucose levels compared to those of the control group. Scientists further found that fatty liver incidence, associated liver damage and liver triglyceride levels were also decreased by the EGCG treatment. Treated animals also experienced improved insulin response as well as lowered C-reactive protein (CRP) and interlukin-6 (IL-6) levels, both strong indicators of systemic inflammation and immune response.
EGCG is a Powerful Antioxidant Shown to Increase Heart Muscle Lifespan
The study authors concluded “Our results demonstrate that the high fat/Western diet produces more severe symptoms of metabolic syndrome and that the EGCG treatment can alleviate these symptoms and body fat accumulation. The beneficial effects of EGCG are associated with decreased lipid absorption and reduced levels of inflammatory cytokines.” Green tea helps our cellular engines (mitochondria) to better metabolize calories more efficiently, providing a significant weight management tool.
Additionally, supporting research documents the effect of green tea catechins on extending the lifespan of heart muscle cells. Scientists found that EGCG supplementation exerted a potent antioxidant effect that lowered free radical damage to preserve telomere length and reduce heart cell death. Nutrition experts recommend two to four cups of fresh brewed green tea daily or an organically compounded and standardized EGCG supplement (300 to 500 mg daily) to assist weight management goals and improve cardiovascular health.