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Green Tea Extract Benefits for Weight Loss: Is There a Role for Tea in Diet?

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By    |   Monday, 15 Dec 2014 08:45 PM

The antioxidants in green tea extracts may increase metabolism, and preliminary studies in mice have shown that weight loss may occur when the tea is combined with exercise.

And although nutritionists will hurry to caution people that there’s no quick-fix for weight loss, some have touted the benefits that come from ingesting antioxidants in green tea extracts.

Women’s Health noted one study that found one of the antioxidants in green tea, ECGC, helped with fat burning. “People who consumed the equivalent of three to five cups a day for 12 weeks decreased their body weight by 4.6 percent. According to other studies, consuming two to four cups of green tea per day may torch an extra 50 calories,” the website said.

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Pennsylvania State University reported on a study on mice in April 2014 that found mice on a high-fat diet, given decaffeinated green tea and also exercising, had an average body mass reduction of 27.1 percent.

“The mice on the green-tea-extract-and-exercise regimen also experienced a 17 percent reduction in fasting blood glucose level, a 65 percent decrease in plasma insulin level and reduction in insulin resistance of 65 percent — all substantial improvements related to diabetic health,” the researchers reported.

"What is significant about this research is that we report for the first time that voluntary exercise in combination with green tea extract reduced symptoms of metabolic syndrome and diet-induced obesity in high-fat-fed mice more significantly than either treatment alone," researcher Joshua Lambert said on PSU’s website. "The changes in body weight and body fat may result from increased fat metabolism and decreased fat synthesis. Green tea seems to modulate genes related to energy metabolism."

WebMD cautioned that many studies are preliminary but also said choosing green tea is a good choice.

"It's the healthiest thing I can think of to drink," Christopher Ochner, a research scientist in nutrition at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, said on WebMD. Catechins, a type of antioxidant contained in green tea, have numerous positive benefits.

But for WebMD, one of those benefits is not weight loss.

“While some evidence suggests that the active ingredient in green tea, EGCG, may help you drop a few pounds, other studies show no effect,” WebMD said, pointing out that no matter what, switching out green tea for sugared drinks will have a positive weight benefit.

"All things being equal, if you sub 1-2 cups of green tea for one can of soda, over the next year you'd save over 50,000 calories," Ochner said on WebMD.

Other websites and researchers agreed that the evidence is still out on green tea and weight loss. NHS Choices took a look at all the effects of green tea and whether they were supported by fact-based evidence, finding, “A well-conducted review from 2012 of 18 studies involving 1,945 people found no significant effect of drinking green tea on weight loss.”

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But while some are cautious about the weight loss benefits of green tea, others believe the studies show solid potential for those struggling to shed the pounds. Various nutritional websites cited the following studies:

• In 2009, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition cited evidence that taking catechins from green tea may improve the loss of abdominal fat with exercise and also lower triglyceride levels, the fats found in blood that may cause cardiac health issues.

Medical News Today pointed to one study that showed individuals who drank green tea and caffeine lost 2.9 pounds over 12 weeks without changing their diets. Other studies of cultures where green tea is consumed on a normal basis found that regular tea drinkers had lower body mass indexes and less body fat.

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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The antioxidants in green tea extracts may increase metabolism, and preliminary studies in mice have shown that weight loss may occur when the tea is combined with exercise.
green tea extract, weight loss, benefits
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2014-45-15
Monday, 15 Dec 2014 08:45 PM
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