Can Green tea help you lose weight

Can Green tea help you lose weight?

You often hear many people say that they have the secret to weight loss. Many companies claim to have this or that product, and often the fine print is just this: “this product is to be used as part of a effective diet and exercise program”. This is most of weight loss. But what if there is another piece of the puzzle that is missing? What if there is something that may assist in weight loss? One of the oldest remedies, Green Tea, is one of those and today we will investigate the science behind the hype. 

Green tea (camellia sinesis)

Tea has been consumed as a beverage for centuries, with use first starting in Asia. The color of the tea is brought on by the processing of the Tea leaf, with black, green and oolong tea prepared from the one plant (Camellia sinensis) by steaming, rolling, drying and/or fermenting. In this case, Green tea is steamed, though unfermented. Fermentation is what changes the colour. There is also a variation in caffeine content influenced by growing and further processing, with Green Tea being the lowest in caffeine of teas. The percentage is thought to be around 3% in green tea.

Many actions.

Green tea has been actions, including: Antioxidant, antimicrobial (destroys infections germs), cancer preventing, astringent (this you can taste), digestive tea (one of the many reasons we consume it around meals), diuretic, hypocholesterolemic (reduces cholesterol) and there is even some evidence for sun protection from Green Tea. 

And of course, Green Tea is useful in weight loss, which we will now look at.

Mechanism of action in weight loss.

The action of Green Tea in weight loss was first thought to be from its caffeine content, studies on tissues cultures have soon, a themogenic effect was found regardless of caffeine content alone.  Put simply, the key chemicals thought to be responsible are the catechin polyphenols in addition to the caffeine which are believed to work on adrenaline and noradrenaline. 

Herbal Medicines are complex in their approach it seems. 

Clinical studies

Animal studies

Studies in animals have shown that Green Tea consumption reduces food intake, showing that it may be beneficial to have with a small snack to help reduce appetite and kilojoule intake later in the day. 

So next time you’re hungry in the afternoon, consider a cup of Green Tea and a small healthy snack. 

Human studies

Although some of the human studies have shown mixed results (with reasons such as diet and lifestyle playing a factor) the following studies are noteworthy. One open study on a standardized extract of green tea (AR25) showed a 4.6% decrease in body weight and a 4.5% decrease in waist circumference after 3 months of treatment. In another study from Thailand, run over 12 weeks and with 60 obese patients with a similar diet,  no results where found after week 4, however at week 8 and 12 weight reduction was significantly different in the Green Tea group than the placebo (no treatment) group. 

It appears there may be some evidence for Green Tea and weight loss, though more quality research is needed.

So how much to drink and which type?

As we have seen from my other Blogs, not all Natural Medicines are made, or grown, the same. Green Tea is no different. If you choose to drink green tea, drink a quality green tea, brewed at the correct temperate for 2 minutes and drink 3-5 cups per day. If, on the other hand, you choose to supplement, choose a quality supplement and take as directed.

As always, it is best to work with a qualified Practitioner will help you reach your health goals sooner. Quick fixes rarely work in the long term, and a qualified practitioner can help you stay accountable with things such as diet and life-style, in addition to the correct medicines. 

Thank you for joining us this week and see you next week as we look at the evidence for natural remedies that may just make you smarter!

Yours in health.

Thank you,

Jeremy Brown

Naturopathic practitioner and principal at Brown’s Wellbeing Centre.

www.brownswellbeingcentre.com.au

www.facebook.com/brownswellbeingcentre

www.twitter.com/jbrown_nat

References: 

Braun, L., & Cohen, M. (2010). Herbs & natural supplements. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Hechtman, L. (2012). Clinical naturopathic medicine. Sydney, Australia: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier Australia.

Thomsen, M., & Gennat, H. (2009). Phytotherapy: desk reference: a clinical handbook. Hobart: Global Natural Medicine.

Final:

Looking to be Lean and Green?

By Jeremy Brown, Naturopath

(Adv. Dip. Nat.)

You often hear many people say that they have the secret to weight loss. Many companies claim to have this or that product, and often the fine print is just this: “this product is to be used as part of a effective diet and exercise program”. This is most of weight loss. But what if there is another piece of the puzzle that is missing? What if there is something that may assist in weight loss? One of the oldest remedies, Green Tea, is one of those and today we will investigate the science behind the hype.

Green tea (camellia sinesis)

Tea has been consumed as a beverage for centuries, with use first starting in Asia. The color of the tea is brought on by the processing of the Tea leaf, with black, green and oolong tea prepared from the one plant (Camellia sinensis) by steaming, rolling, drying and/or fermenting. In this case, Green tea is steamed, though unfermented. Fermentation is what changes the colour. There is also a variation in caffeine content influenced by growing and further processing, with Green Tea being the lowest in caffeine of teas. The percentage is thought to be around 3% in green tea.

A plant with many uses

Green tea has various actions, including: antioxidant, antimicrobial (destroys infectious germs), cancer preventing, astringent (this you can taste), digestive (one of the many reasons we consume it around meals), diuretic, hypocholesterolemic (reduces cholesterol) and there is even some evidence for sun protection from consuming Green Tea.

And of course, Green Tea may be useful in weight loss, which we will now look at.

Mechanism of action in weight loss

The action of Green Tea in weight loss was first thought to be from its caffeine content, though studies on tissues cultures have seen a themogenic effect regardless of caffeine content alone.  Put simply, the key chemicals thought to be responsible are the catechin polyphenols in addition to the caffeine which are believed to work on adrenaline and noradrenaline.

Herbal Medicines are complex in their approach it seems.

Clinical studies

Animal studies

Studies in animals have shown that Green Tea consumption reduces food intake, showing that it may be beneficial to have with a small snack to help reduce appetite and kilojoule intake later in the day.

So next time you’re hungry in the afternoon, consider a cup of Green Tea and a small healthy snack.

Human studies

Although some of the human studies have shown mixed results (with reasons such as diet and lifestyle playing a factor) the following studies are noteworthy. One open study on a standardized extract of green tea (AR25) showed a 4.6% decrease in body weight and a 4.5% decrease in waist circumference after 3 months of treatment. In another study from Thailand, run over 12 weeks and with 60 obese patients with a similar diet, no results where found after week 4, however at week 8 and 12 weight reduction was significantly different in the Green Tea group than the placebo (no treatment) group.

It appears there may be some evidence for Green Tea and weight loss, though more quality research is needed.

So how much to drink and which type?

As we have seen from my other Blogs, not all Natural Medicines are made, or grown the same- Green Tea is no different. If you choose to drink green tea, drink a quality green tea, brewed at the correct temperate (80°C) for 2 minutes and drink 3-5 cups per day. If, on the other hand, you choose to supplement, choose a quality supplement and take as directed.

As always, it is best to work with a qualified Practitioner will help you reach your health goals sooner. Quick fixes rarely work in the long term, and a qualified practitioner can help you stay accountable with things such as diet and life-style, in addition to the correct medicines.

Some tips and tricks on incorporating Green Tea into your lifestyle:

Many people complain or are put off by the bitter taste of Green Tea, this is because of tannins and occurs when tea is steeped for too long and/or at too high temperatures – 2 minutes at 80 degrees is a sure winner for a good brew.

You can also try blending your Green Tea with an exotic mix such as coconut and dried pineapple bits or even a squirt of fresh natural lemon juice or even a teaspoon of your favourite honey.

Lastly, start off slowly, you don’t need to go cold turkey for your usual morning coffee fix, start by introducing it as an additional drink just after lunch time. This way it can be an easy “drink snack”.

Thank you for joining us this week!  

See you next week as we look at the evidence for natural remedies that may just make you smarter!

Yours in health,

Jeremy Brown

Naturopathic practitioner and principal at Brown’s Wellbeing Centre.

www.brownswellbeingcentre.com.au

www.facebook.com/brownswellbeingcentre

www.twitter.com/jbrown_nat

Supporting Evidence: 

Braun, L., & Cohen, M. (2010). Herbs & natural supplements. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Hechtman, L. (2012). Clinical naturopathic medicine. Sydney, Australia: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier Australia.

Medi-Herb, A Phytotherapist’s perspective. No.152. January 2012. Australia

Thomsen, M., & Gennat, H. (2009). Phytotherapy : desk reference : a clinical handbook. Hobart: Global Natural Medicine.

*Please note that advice is of a general nature and does not replace the advice of a health professional. Thanks to Fox & Ash van der spuy for the contributions regarding the best way to brew Green Tea.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s