Research Proven Weight Loss: Green Tea

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Green tea boosts fat loss.

Green tea has been widely recommended for just about anything that you can think up.  This liquid cure-all form the Orient is full of anti-oxidants and metabolism boosters.  The taste takes some time to get used to it, but once you do, it can be very pleasant. The question remains: does green tea help with weight loss and maintenance?  

Green Tea

Figure 1:  Green Tea

The main active ingredients in green tea are caffeine and polyphenol catechins.  Green tea is a rich source of polyphenol catechins.  There are many studies that show weight loss and maintenance benefits with regular consumption of green tea and its extracts.  

Research:

  1. Green Tea Extract:  A 12 weeks study showed high-dose green tea extract resulted in significant weight loss, reduced waist circumference, and a consistent decrease in total cholesterol, and LDL plasma levels without any side effects or adverse effects in women with central obesity[1]. It is postulated that the mechanism of the high-dose green tea extract might be associated in part with ghrelin secretion inhibition, leading to increased adiponectin levels.  
    • Body consumption:  A study of green tea with caffeine has shown statistically significant reductions in BMI, body weight, and waist circumference[2].  Another study of green tea concludes that consumption of two servings of an extra high-catechin green tea leads to improvements in body composition and reduces abdominal fatness in moderately overweight subjects[3].  
    • Calorie burning. Caffeine may stimulate thermogenesis (aka fat burning).  This effect is probably small and isn’t enough to produce significant weight loss.
    • Fat cells:  A mother study shows a reduction in the formation of new fat cells with the use of green tea extract.[5].  This translate into further benefits in weight maintenance.  
  2. Caffeine:  Green tea contains caffeine.  One European study of caffeine consumption in weight loss and maintenance showed a correlation between successful maintenance and a higher caffeine consumption[4].  The source of the caffeine was coffee, but the results should be the same if caffeine is the causative agent.    
Green Tea

Figure 2:  Green Tea

Green tea is much clearer in its benefits for weight loss than coffee.  One thing is clear; green tea is safe and well studied.  It has benefits in helping you lose weight.  I drink it, and it helps me have more energy and feel full longer.  I might have a cup right now.    

References

[1]
I. Chen, C. Liu, J. Chiu, and C. Hsu, “Therapeutic effect of high-dose green tea extract on weight reduction: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.,” Clin Nutr, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 592–9, Jun. 2016. [PubMed]
[2]
W. Baker, O. Phung , L. Matthews, M. Lanosa, A. Thorne, and C. Coleman, “Effect of green tea catechins with or without caffeine on anthropometric measures: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” Am J Clin Nutr, 2009.
[3]
H. Wang et al., “Effects of catechin enriched green tea on body composition.,” Obesity (Silver Spring), vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 773–9, Apr. 2010. [PubMed]
[4]
D. Icken et al., “Caffeine intake is related to successful weight loss maintenance.,” Eur J Clin Nutr, vol. 70, no. 4, pp. 532–4, Apr. 2016. [PubMed]
[5]
H. Ku et al., “Green tea (-)-epigallocatechin gallate inhibits insulin stimulation of 3T3-L1 preadipocyte mitogenesis via the 67-kDa laminin receptor pathway.,” Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, vol. 297, no. 1, pp. C121-32, Jul. 2009. [PubMed]
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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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