Green tea can be an effective way to increase weight loss, studies find.
Drinking between two to four cups per day has been linked to weight loss in multiple studies.
Similarly, black tea has also been linked to increased weight loss.
People in the studies sometimes lose weight without making any other dietary or lifestyle changes, apart from drinking tea.
Green tea may be effective because it helps to regulate glucose levels.
The active ingredient is a type of flavonoid called gallated catechins, also known as EGCG.
However, catechins can be damaged by boiling water, so let the water cool a little before adding it to the tea.
Alternatively, EGCG can be bought as a food supplement, which provides a more concentrated hit of the antioxidant.
Drinking green tea itself may be better than green tea supplements because of the way the body metabolises critical catechins in tea.
One potential disadvantage of green tea is that it can increase insulin resistance, which can be a problem for people with diabetes or who are obese.
One study gave mice green tea extract along with a non-toxic resin designed to counteract this side-effect of green tea.
The study used both diabetic and non-diabetic mice who were fed either a normal or high-fat diet.
The results showed that the green tea extract stopped mice gaining weight when they were on a high-fat diet.
The study’s authors write:
“Dietary green tea extract and polyethylene glycol alleviated body weight gain and insulin resistance in diabetic and high-fat mice, thus ameliorating glucose intolerance.
Therefore the green tea extract and polyethylene glycol complex may be a preventative and therapeutic tool for obesity and obesity-related type 2 diabetes without too much concern about side effects.”
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
The study was published in Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology (Park et al., 2013).