Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Does Green Tea Promote Weight Loss?

Green tea has been in the media multiple times in the past few years.  Reporters rave about its amazing benefits and grocery store shelves are piled high with many different types and flavors.  Green tea has gotten so much publicity companies have started making green tea pills claiming they promoted weight reduction.

The internet is overflowing with information about green tea, but does this miracle drink live up to its reputation?  According to a review article published in 2006, green tea does have multiple beneficial attributes.  Green tea is the richest of all teas in antioxidants.  The antioxidants and polyphenols in the tea contribute to cancer prevention, cholesterol reduction, and anti-inflammatory functions.  Additionally, green tea has presented antidiabetic, antibacterial and antiviral abilities.  This is all good, but can green tea help promote weight loss like the media claims?

According to current research, there is no specific answer yet.  One researcher found that green tea MAY decrease percent body fat in people who drink it habitually for more than ten years.  In another study, researchers instructed one group of overweight women to drink green tea and a second group not to while both groups followed the same diet plan.  At the ends of the study, there was no difference in the amount of weight lost between the two groups.  As a result, the researchers said there is no relationship between green tea and weight loss.  But that does not mean we need to give up drinking green tea.

There are multiple beneficial affects to drinking green tea, especially when it comes to cancer, diabetes and high cholesterol prevention.  The down sides to drinking green tea are caffeine and teas in general effect iron absorption.  Therefore, just like all other foods and drinks it is best to consume green tea in moderation around 3 cups a day to get the benefits of the tea but avoid the side effects.


1.            Cabrera, C., R. Artacho, and R. Gimenez, Beneficial Effects of Green Tea--A Review. J Am Coll Nutr, 2006. 25(2): p. 79-99.

2.            Lee, M.-S. and Y. Kim, The hypocholesterolemic effect of green tea catechin, (-)-epigallocatechin gallate via upregulation of hepatic cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylsae (CYP7A1) in cholesterol-fed rat. FASEB J., 2008. 22(1_MeetingAbstracts): p. 700.5-.

3.            Singh, D.K., S. Banerjee, and T.D. Porter, Green and black tea extracts inhibit HMG-CoA reductase and activate AMP kinase to decrease cholesterol synthesis in hepatoma cells. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 2009. 20(10): p. 816-822.

4.            Wu, C.-H., et al., Relationship among Habitual Tea Consumption, Percent Body Fat, and Body Fat Distribution. Obesity, 2003. 11(9): p. 1088-1095.

5.            Diepvens, K., et al., Effect of green tea on resting energy expenditure and substrate oxidation during weight loss in overweight females. British Journal of Nutrition, 2005. 94(06): p. 1026-1034.

6.            Hurrell, R.F., M. Reddy, and J.D. Cook, Inhibition of non-haem iron absorption in man by polyphenolic-containing beverages. British Journal of Nutrition, 1999. 81(04): p. 289-295.


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