Can a green tea extract help with weight loss? According to a new study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition a component in green tea called epigallocatechin gallate, commonly known as EGCG, may be helpful for treating obesity.
This isn’t the first time that green tea and green tea extract have been the focus of weight loss studies.
In a small human study where ten men took a green tea extract, the extract boosted their fat burning capacity by four percent – which translates into an extra sixty calories used up per day.
This may not sound like a lot, but those extra calories add up in the fight against obesity.
The Latest Study Looking at Green Tea Extract for Weight Loss
In this new study, ten obese and overweight men took one of five supplements – either 300 mg. of EGCG, 600 mg. of EGCG, 200 mg. of caffeine, EGCG plus caffeine, or a placebo pill. How did they fare? The men who took the lower dose of ECGC increased their rate of fat burning by 33 percent.
The higher dose of EGCG only increased fat burning slightly over the low dose supplement. Caffeine had an effect too – with the caffeine supplement increasing fat oxidation by 34.5% compared to the placebo pill.
The combined caffeine and EGCG supplement had the greatest fat burning potential of all – increasing fat oxidation by almost fifty percent.
At least according to these small studies taking green tea extract for weight loss may have weight loss benefits – at least comparable to caffeine – which is known to boost the rate of fat burning.
Researchers believe that EGCG may cause weight loss by a variety of different mechanisms including boosting fat breakdown, decreasing the synthesis of fat, and, possibly, by reducing fat absorption.
Is a Green Tea Extract Necessary?
Do you need to take a green tea extract or is drinking green tea effective? Some studies show that drinking as few as four cups of green tea a day is helpful for weight loss and treating obesity.
The problem is green tea contains tannins which reduces the absorption of EGCG. Less than one percent of the EGCG in green tea is actually made available to the body – which is why a green tea extract is often recommended.
The Safety of Taking a Green Tea Extract
Is it safe to take a green tea extract for weight loss? The long-term effects of taking a concentrated green tea extract aren’t known. There’s some concern that high levels of EGCG can cause liver toxicity.
Green tea extract supplements also contain caffeine which some people are sensitive to. People who have other medical problems – particularly heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, or thyroid disease shouldn’t take a concentrated green tea supplement. EGCG can also alter the effects of certain medications.
The Bottom Line?
Taking green tea extract for weight loss may modestly boost fat burning which could be useful for treating obesity, but it should be used under the care of a doctor so that liver enzymes and blood pressure can be closely monitored. Keep in mind that no one knows whether taking a green tea extract is a safe long-term.
Nutraingredients. com website. “Green Tea Extract Effective for Weight Loss at Low Doses.”
Web MD website. “Green Tea Boosts Metabolism, Protects Against Diseases.”