A range of natural supplements have been linked to weight loss by studies.
However, green tea can lead to weight loss without doing any additional exercise or changing diet, research finds.
People in one study who drank four cups a day lost 5.5 pounds.
The caffeine and flavonoids in green tea are thought to speed up the metabolism, which helps it process fat more quickly.
Green tea also contains antioxidants called catechins.
The most important catechin in green tea is called Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG.
EGCG can be bought as a food supplement — this contains a more concentrated dose of the antioxidant.
If drinking tea directly, though, it is better to let the water cool before adding it to the leaves as boiling water can damage the catechins.
The conclusions come from a study that included 35 obese people.
They were assigned to either take green tea extract, drink green tea or make no change.
Consuming four cups of green tea led to 5.5 pounds of weight loss in 8 weeks, the results showed.
Supplements, meanwhile, led to 4 pounds of weight loss.
Another separate study on mice showed that green tea could combat a high-fat diet.
Dr Joshua Lambert, who led the mouse study, said:
“Our results suggest that if you supplement with EGCG or green tea you gain weight more slowly.
There seems to be two prongs to this.
First, EGCG reduces the ability to absorb fat and, second, it enhances the ability to use fat.”
Dr Lambert explained that both groups of mice were eating the same:
“There’s no difference in the amount of food the mice are eating.
The mice are essentially eating a milkshake, except one group is eating a milkshake with green tea.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do