Research: Black tea may help with weight loss.

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Decaffeinated black and green tea polyphenols decrease weight gain in obese mice.

A cup of black tea

A cup of black tea

Tea possesses significant antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticarcinogenic, antihypertensive, neuroprotective, cholesterol-lowering, and thermogenic properties[1].  Black and green tea are high in phytochemical.  A phytochemical is plant compound that is renowned for their antioxidant properties.  Tea is the most frequently consumed beverage worldwide outside of water.  The three most popular types of tea, green, black, and oolong.  They differ in the amount of fermentation, but they are all made of leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis.   I have seen many studies on the weight loss effects of green tea, but there is limited evidence on black tea for weight loss. 

The lack of evidence was true until October of 2017[2].  A new study completed at UCLA.  The study, “Decaffeinated green and black tea polyphenols decrease weight gain and alter microbiome populations and function in diet-induced obese mice,” was published in the European Journal of Nutrition.  Although it was performed on mice, there is not a reason to believe that the physiology is significantly different to produce a different effect in humans.  That being said human studies are needed. 

In the study, mice were fed different diets that were either:

  1. A high-fat/high-sucrose diet with 32% energy from fat and 25% energy from sucrose.  
  2. The same diet as #1 thaw as supplemented with 0.25% green tea polyphenols or black tea polyphenols
  3. A low-fat/high-sucrose with 0.6% energy from fat and 25% energy from sucrose diet for four weeks.     

The study found that both black polyphenols and green tea polyphenols induced weight loss.  This change was also associated with a shift in the gut flora, and that may be the cause.  Green tea is likely more effective for weight loss than black tea[3].

The bottom line: Green and black tea both help with weight loss in mice.  The same should be true in human, but more research is needed. 

Footnotes
[1]Hayat et al., “Tea and Its Consumption: Benefits and Risks.”
[2]Henning et al., “Decaffeinated Green and Black Tea Polyphenols Decrease Weight Gain and Alter Microbiome Populations and Function in Diet-Induced Obese Mice.”
[3]Yang et al., “Mechanisms of Body Weight Reduction and Metabolic Syndrome Alleviation by Tea.”
Hayat, Khizar, Hira Iqbal, Uzma Malik, Uzma Bilal, and Sobia Mushtaq. “Tea and Its Consumption: Benefits and Risks.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 55, no. 7 (January 28, 2015): 939–54. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2012.678949.
Henning, Susanne M., Jieping Yang, Mark Hsu, Ru-Po Lee, Emma M. Grojean, Austin Ly, Chi-Hong Tseng, David Heber, and Zhaoping Li. “Decaffeinated Green and Black Tea Polyphenols Decrease Weight Gain and Alter Microbiome Populations and Function in Diet-Induced Obese Mice.” European Journal of Nutrition, September 30, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-017-1542-8.
Yang, Chung S., Jinsong Zhang, Le Zhang, Jinbao Huang, and Yijun Wang. “Mechanisms of Body Weight Reduction and Metabolic Syndrome Alleviation by Tea.” Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 60, no. 1 (December 9, 2015): 160–74. https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201500428.
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About the Author

ChuckH

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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