Drinking green tea has long been associated with preventing heart disease and inhibiting cancers. Now a study points to an even more popular benefit: weight loss.
|Green tea has been found to freeze the growth of cancers and prevent heart disease.|
|The caffeine and flavonoids are believed to increase fat burning.|
|Tea may suppress appetite by creating a feeling of fullness.|
In a Swiss experiment, investigators compared the effects of capsules containing green tea extract plus caffeine, with caffeine alone and a placebo. The participants, healthy young men ranging from lean to mildly overweight, were randomly assigned to one of three treatments.
Participants were prescribed a typical American diet, averaging 40 percent fat for six weeks. They were also instructed to spend three 24-hour periods in a specially designed respiratory chamber that measured breathing and energy expenditure.
When the researchers compared the three treatments, the 10 men in the green tea group were found to burn calories faster than the other groups. Surprisingly, no difference was found between the caffeine group and the participants who were given a placebo. The caffeine dose used in the study was equivalent to one cup of brewed coffee, considerably lower than levels used in other studies that have linked it with weight loss.
The study's lead author, Dr. Abdul Dulloo of the University of Geneva, concluded that the effects of caffeine in green tea together with a natural substance called flavonoids may be responsible for triggering a higher rate of fat burning.
The authors noted that since high caffeine consumption is known to increase heart rate, green tea may be a more healthy option for people hoping to lose weight.
Commenting on the study, Leslie Bonci, a registered dietician in Pittsburgh and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, said green tea appeared to be helpful for weight watchers.
"Not only is it recommended for its antioxidant effects, warm drinks and soup tend to stay in the gut longer and produce satiety to a greater extent than cold drinks," she said.
Bonci added that green tea and black tea have similar therapeutic effects. Green tea also has been shown to have a protective effect against cancer of the esophagus.
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