Green tea and weight loss |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
Green tea has been tossed around by various health experts with varying claims. Sometimes, green tea is touted as a remedy for weight loss that works, at others it is that bluff you must not fall for. What is the truth about green tea?
A study published in March 2019 by the Ohio State University claimed that Green tea cut obesity and a number of inflammatory biomarkers linked with poor health in a new study, as published in Science Daily.
For the study, an intensive experiment was carried out:
Learnings from the mice and green tea study:
The benefits seen in the new study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, appear to stem from improved gut health, including more beneficial microbes in the intestines of the mice and less permeability in the intestinal wall -- a condition typically called "leaky gut" in people.
"This study provides evidence that green tea encourages the growth of good gut bacteria, and that leads to a series of benefits that significantly lower the risk of obesity," said Richard Bruno, the study's lead author and a professor of human nutrition at The Ohio State University.
Does Green Tea reduce the chances of obesity?
For eight weeks, half of the animals ate a high-fat diet designed to lead to obesity and half were fed a regular diet. In each of those groups, half ate green tea extract mixed in with their food. Then the researchers measured body and fat tissue weight, insulin resistance and other factors.
The mice fed a high-fat diet supplemented with green tea gained about 20 per cent less weight and had lower insulin resistance than mice fed an otherwise identical diet without tea.
Those mice also had less inflammation within fat tissue and the intestine. Furthermore, the green tea appeared to protect against the movement of endotoxin, the toxic bacterial component, out of their guts and into the bloodstream.
Plus, the researchers found evidence of stronger -- less "leaky" -- guts in these mice.
The researchers also found that the green tea appeared to contribute to a healthier microbial community in the guts of the mice fed a high-fat diet.
Bruno is currently working on a human study that will explore the effects of green tea on the leaky gut in people with metabolic syndrome -- a condition that predisposes people to Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
For now, he said, it's too soon to extrapolate the findings in animals to people.
Green Tea: How and how much should one drink?
One cannot start consuming green tea like water, warn experts. Ohio Universitys experts caution that -- should the benefits prove true in humans -- green tea supplements would not be an obvious substitute for drinking the beverage over the course of a day, because of how the body metabolizes the catechins in the tea.
"Consuming a little throughout the course of a day with food -- like the mice did in this study -- might be better," Bruno said.
Another study by Penn University:
An earlier study published by the Penn State University on April 02, 2014, had shown that Mice on a high-fat diet that consumed decaffeinated green tea extract and exercised regularly experienced sharp reductions in final body weight and significant improvements in health, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, who suggest that similar results could be realized by people.
Obesity and Diabetes (Blood Sugar) markers in Mice:
After 16 weeks, high-fat-fed mice that exercised regularly and ingested green tea extract showed an average body mass reduction of 27.1 per cent and an average abdominal fat mass reduction of 36.6 per cent.
The mice that ingested the green-tea-extract-and-exercise regimen also experienced a 17 per cent reduction in fasting blood glucose level, a 65 per cent decrease in plasma insulin level and a reduction in the insulin resistance of 65 per cent -- all substantial improvements related to diabetic health.
Mice that consumed green tea extract but did not exercise or those that exercised but were not given green tea extract experienced less significant changes in weight and health measurements, noted lead researcher Joshua Lambert, associate professor of food science.
But Professor Lambert has made no claims of having proof yet that one can say with certainty that combining green tea drinking and exercise may well help people -- like mice -- lose weight. He says research is yet to be done with humans, and until then there is no way to be certain.
"It looks promising for people, but somebody will have to do this experiment with people to definitively show that green tea and exercise together have a beneficial effect in humans," he said.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.
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