Monday, January 16, 2012

Green Tea Halts Weight Gain by Inhibiting Fat Absorption

Reporting in the research journalObesity, researchers continue tomount crucial evidence to support green tea as an agent in the war againstoverweight and obesity. Green tea (and its less refined cousin, white tea) isshown to slow weight gain and may be a key tool in the obesity epidemic impactingthe health of millions of children and adults in western cultures.

Mice supplemented with the activecompound found in green tea, Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) were fed ahigh-fat diet and gained weight much slower than their control counterparts. Thefindings demonstrate the potent effect of the natural tea extract when coupledwith a healthy, calorie-reduced diet that minimizes processed carbohydratefoods and hydrogenated fat sources.

Green Tea Extract Shown to Slow Weight Gain By 45 Percent
Extensive scientific research hasbeen performed on green tea and the potent EGCG extract. Most of this work hasshown a direct link between green tea consumption and lowered risk of Alzheimer`sdementia, many digestive cancers, cardiovascular disease as well as being anaid in weight management. Green tea contains between 30 and 40 percentpolyphenols that contribute to its myriad of health benefits. Common black teacontains between 3 and 10 percent polyphenols, as the leaves have been highlyrefined to remove the naturally occurring compounds.

Research leader Joshua Lambert,assistant professor of food science in agricultural sciences at Penn StateUniversity and his team determined to expand on prior research showing thatgreen tea consumption promotes healthy body weight. The researchers used obesemice genetically predisposed to gain weight. The mice were broken into twogroups; each fed a high fat diet. The test group was supplemented with EGCG intheir drinking water for a period of six weeks.

ECGC Polyphenols From Green Tea Cut Fat Absorption by Thirty Percent
The results showed that micereceiving the active EGCG component through supplementation, along with ahigh-fat diet, gained weight 45 percent more slowly than the control group ofmice eating the same diet without EGCG. Lambert noted “Our results suggest that if you supplementwith EGCG or green tea you gain weight more slowly.” Additionally, mice fedthe green tea supplement showed a nearly 30 percent increase in lipidexcretion, suggesting that the EGCG was limiting fat absorption by inhibitingpancreatic lipase. The study did not differentiate between caffeinated andcaffeine-free green tea consumption, so caffeine sensitive individuals canattain similar results with non-caffeinated sources.

Researchers noted that green teaconsumption did not appear to suppress appetite, an indicator that the weightreduction effect was due to inhibition of fat cell genesis. The authors concluded“Human data … shows that tea drinkers whoonly consume one or more cups a day will see effects on body weight compared tonon-consumers.” Most nutritionists suggest 2 to 4 cups of green tea eachday, or a standardized EGCG extract (500 mg to 1 gram daily) along with acalorically-balanced diet to achieve weight management success.

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