Green Tea : Fat Buster?
Heavyweight and obese persons might be getting a new best friend. Another diet perhaps? A new weight loss regimen? Well, it’s a little bit more basic and uncomplicated that these. The fat person’s new best friend could be none other than the lowly but potent green tea.
Yes, that ancient brew apparently manifests a new health property...that of fighting fat. Now that’s another healthy reason to drink green tea.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2005 showed that people who drank a bottle of tea fortified with green tea extract every day for three months lost more body fat than those who drank a bottle of regular oolong tea.
Researchers say the results indicate that substances found in green tea known as catechins may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decreasing body fat.
Catechins are substances that have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, but recent research in animals show that catechins may also affect body fat accumulation and cholesterol levels.
In the study, researchers looked at the effects of catechins on body fat reduction and weight loss in a group of 35 Japanese men. The men had similar weights based on their body mass index, an indicator of body fat, and waist sizes.
The men were divided into two groups. For three months, the first group drank a bottle of oolong tea fortified with green tea extract containing 690 milligrams of catechins, and the other group drank a bottle of oolong tea with 22 milligrams of catechins.
During this time, the men ate identical breakfasts and dinners. They were likewise instructed to control their calorie and fat intake at all times so that overall total diets were similar.
After three months, the study showed that the men who drank the green tea extract lost more weight (5.3 pounds vs. 2.9 pounds) and experienced a significantly greater decrease in BMI, waist size, and total body fat.
In addition, LDL or the so-called "bad" cholesterol decreased in the men who drank the green tea extract.
Researchers say the results indicate that catechins in green tea not only help burn calories and lower LDL cholesterol but may also be able to mildly reduce body fat.
"These results suggest that catechins contribute to the prevention of and improvement in various lifestyle-related diseases, particularly obesity," writes researcher Tomonori Nagao of Health Care Products Research Laboratories in Tokyo.
"Tea comforts the spirit, banishes passivity, lightens the body, and adds sparkle to the eyes."
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