Can Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?

Green Tea
Green Tea

The seemingly benign green tea leaf has long been touted for it's almost magical health properties, namely cancer prevention and aiding weight loss. Although staving off cancer is vitally important, it's the latter benefit that piques the interest of most people. But what is it about green tea that can help melt off the pounds? Can green tea help weight loss?

This study from Korea is speculating that green tea's weight control properties can be narrowed down to a component called gallated catechins. Gallated catechins are a type of flavonoid that help with prevent the absorption of sugar and fat in the intestines, which theoretically thereby helps decrease weight gain potential. The problem however, is that when galleted catcehins reach the bloodstream, they can actually increase insulin resistance, which perpetuates weight gain and type 2 diabetes. This study looked at finding a way to utilize the power of the flavonoids in green tea without causing the harmful side effects. They did so by pairing green tea extract with a resin called polyethylene glycol. The resin binds with the galleted catechins in the stomach so they can't be absorbed into the bloodstream.

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The researchers tested their theory using mice on a high fat diet and compared the effects of green tea extract alone, green tea extract paired with the resin, and common drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes. They wanted to see which, if any, helped prevent insulin resistance, weight gain, and glucose intolerance. The verdict? The green tea alone did not produce results, but the green tea paired with the resin had significantly positive results. The polyethylene glycol helped keep the gallated catechins in the intestine for a longer period of time so it had more time to work it's weight loss magic. Turns out the green tea and resin combo was just as effective compared to the diabetes drugs.

The amount of green tea used in the study was comparable to drinking green tea on a daily basis. This could help the fight against obesity by providing an effective remedy with little to no side effects, unlike manufactured medications.

By Heather Neal
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