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Weight Loss Industry Buzzing Over Green Tea

The diet and weight loss industry is all abuzz over the incredible health giving properties of green tea.

MetaboLife, CCA Industries and Mason Vitamins all claim that their green tea supplements can help in the battle to prevent weight gain.

However, while green tea has been proven to speed up a person's metabolism, its fat busting effects have not yet been nailed down.

Weight Loss is Big Business

green tea for weight lossLike all big business, the herbal weight loss industry moves in cycles. In the early days of this decade, ephedra, a stimulant herb was one of the big sellers.

While it had metabolism increasing properties which helped people to lose weight fast, it also raised had a tendency to increase heart rate. In some cases this lead to strokes and even heart attacks. In 2004, ephedra was banned by the Food and Drug Administration which set off an industry scramble to find a replacement.

That replacement is currently green tea. It has a long history as a healthful, revitalizing beverage dating back thousands of years.

Western medicine is only just catching on to the many beneficial health properties that drinking this tea can provide, not least of those its ability to not only speed metabolism but also to limit insulin response to certain foods which has the effect of reducing the body's tendency to store fat, creating an excellent green tea fat burner for weight loss.

Caffeine Delivery System

Green tea is a natural caffeine delivery system. This is a common ingredient in many green tea and weight loss products and supplements. Additionally, it contains the strong antioxidant EGCG, which appears to encourage faster calorie burning in cells throughout the body, making it "thermogenic," which is a term that has people in the industry very excited.

It cannot be denied that this variety of tea really does appear to increase metabolism. However, recent studies have shown the resulting loss in weight amongst those taking part in trials is modest. According to Craig Coleman, who is the University of Connecticut in Storrs associate professor of pharmacy practice, "It sounds like it should work, but when the rubber hits the road in clinical trials, it doesn't really pan out."

In a 2009 review of 15 studies into the tea and how it affects body weight that was co-authored by Coleman, it was found that on average, subjects who took green tea products managed to lose an extra one to three pounds when compared to those taking a placebo. Participants in the studies generally consumed around 300mg. of EGCG each day.

The length of the studies went from 3 to 24 weeks. The meager results of the studies led Coleman to say, he "would not recommend patients take green tea extract in any form for weight loss."

Positive Step

But according to Arpita Basu, OKlahoma State University's assistant professor of nutritional sciences, even a modest number of pounds lost by using this tea products can be a positive step. Basu authored a 2010 study involving 35 obese people. He compared the consumption of either four cups of strong brewed green tea, two caps of the extract (containing 460mg EGCG) or a placebo every day for a period of eight weeks.

Subjects who drank green tea or those who took the supplements lost an additional 5.5 pounds and 4.9 pounds respectively over the subjects who consumed the placebo. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition ran a report where researchers speculated the possibility that the tea's weight reducing power might be stronger in already obese people.

Basu says that nobody should count entirely on green tea to assist them lose weight, but including it in their daily diet could be helpful when used as part of a comprehensive program including a healthy diet and exercise to lose weight. Basu is wary of products that include other active ingredients with green tea extracts. Instead, her suggestion is that people simply brew a cup of fresh tea. "It's cheaper and safer," she says.

Studies information sourced from Los Angeles Times


Posted on Sun, 15 Aug 2010 in News | 1 Comments

1 thoughts on "Weight Loss Industry Buzzing Over Green Tea"

Sheila says:

I'm not exactly surprised to hear that about green tea. I've been drinking it for years and have always enjoyed good health and never seem to put on any weight. I guess science just has to prove it to itself before making it "official" whereas those of us who have been "in the know" didn't need to be told in any case!