Results may explain green tea’s role in weight loss.
“To sustain life, the body converts digested food into energy to fuel the cells, build proteins and other essential molecules, and eliminate waste. This conversion cycle is called metabolism. An efficient, well-regulated metabolism keeps the body in energy balance.”
In a recent study, doctors examined the role of ECGC, a powerful antioxidant substance found in green tea, on metabolism.
Now, green tea has long been used as a beverage. In recent years, however, it is increasingly recognized that green tea may also exert powerful medical and therapeutic properties. In addition to being sold as a beverage, it is now widely available as a nutritional supplement, in capsule, tablet and liquid extract form.
Before discussing the specific actions and benefits looked at in this study, let’s take a quick overview of the various conditions green tea is currently used for:
“Orally, green tea is used to improve cognitive performance and mental alertness. It is also used to treat stomach disorders, vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches. Green tea is also used for depression, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), ulcerative colitis, weight loss, osteoporosis, breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, leukemia, and skin cancer related to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (e.g., sunburn) and other environmental causes. It is also used for human papilloma virus (HPV), genital warts, perianal warts, cervical dysplasia, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypotension, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), dental caries, kidney stones, and skin damage.
“Gargling with green tea is used for the prevention of colds and flu. Green tea extract is used in a mouthwash for postoperative pain associated with tooth extraction. Topically, green tea bags are used as a wash to soothe sunburn, as a poultice for bags under the eyes, as a compress for headache or tired eyes, and to stop the bleeding of tooth sockets. Green tea in chewable candy is used for gingivitis. Green tea is also used topically to prevent skin damage and cancer related to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (e.g., sunburn) and other environmental causes. A green tea footbath is used for athlete's foot.” (Natural Medicines Database, Online)
That’s quite an impressive list, and it goes a long way towards explaining the current popularity of green tea as a supplement. In this study, the focus is on improving metabolism, and enhancing energy–certainly an important function. I think, however, that this may support another important role of green tea, and I will elaborate on this after the following recap of the study on metabolism and energy:
“In this review, doctors analyzed eight placebo-controlled studies covering 268 people who took epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a powerful antioxidant polyphenol in green tea. Doses ranged from 300 mg to 800 mg per day, in studies lasting from two days to 12 weeks.
Overall, compared to placebo, people who took EGCG saw an increase in metabolic rate; meaning more efficient energy conversion. Discussing the findings, doctors said EGCG can increase the metabolic rate, even at doses as low as 300 mg per day.” (Reference: Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry; May, 2017, Vol. 43, In Progress, 1-10)
When I was associated with a large and reputable herbal supplement company in France, years ago, I was impressed with the research and clinical evidence they had accumulated showing that green tea extract was effective for weight loss. It was marketed by many companies, and gained a reputation as an effective weight loss supplement. Additional research as been published, but not every study has been positive, perhaps because of variations in the types of preparations used.
Typically, you will see statement such as the following in the scientific literature: “There is conflicting evidence about the effectiveness of green tea for obesity and weight loss. . .” There is also the question of exactly what the mechanism of action might be.
Well, maybe this current study sheds some light on that question. This study seems to show that the ECGC in green tea increased the metabolic rate, and enhanced the conversion to energy. Perhaps this is the reason green tea extracts promote weight loss?
Here are some examples of green tea extract supplements in the PhytoTech? line:
PhytoTech? Green Tea Guo
A rich source of phyto-antioxidants, including EGCG, the list of research-proven health benefits of Green Tea continues to grow.
1 fl oz - Regular Flavor - Prod Code: 56944
2 fl oz - Regular Flavor - Prod Code: 57098
1 fl oz - Peach Flavor - Prod Code: 56998
90 Veggie Caps - Prod Code: 60126
The Phyto-Tech? Green Tea Guo formulas contain Whole Green Tea Leaf and Green Tea Extract, standardized at 90% polyphenols, 50% EGCG. such that one dropper full has the same antioxidant content as 10 cups of regular green tea. In addition, the product is sweetened with natural stevia and the popular Chinese herb, Luo Han Guo. Luo Han Guo is considered a longevity booster, and is commonly used for numerous health problems in China