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The Arbor Teas Blog

Another Reason to Love Green Tea: It May Help You Lose Weight

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Sencha, a popular green tea from Japan

Over the past several years, there have been many stories claiming that tea can be beneficial for weight loss. We tend not to listen to these stories – which seem to be geared toward selling tea and supplements, rather than providing information – until there’s scientific proof. Well, last year, researchers at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences found that the combination of green tea extract and exercise contributed to significant weight loss in mice.

This study, led by Joshua Lambert, associate professor of food science at Penn State, looked at mice in three control groups for sixteen weeks: One group was fed a high-fat diet, and was given decaffeinated green tea extract and regular, voluntary, exercise. Another was fed a high-fat diet and given regular, voluntary exercise, but no green tea extract. And a third was given a high-fat diet and green tea extract, but no exercise.

The mice that fared the best in the study were given the combination of green tea extract and regular voluntary exercise. After sixteen weeks, these mice had an average body mass reduction of 27.1%, and an average abdominal fat reduction of 36.6%.

This group also had a 17% reduction of fasting blood glucose levels, a 65% decrease in plasma insulin levels and a 65% reduction of insulin resistance, all factors that are significant for diabetic health.

Joshua Lambert, who led the study, pointed out that it was the combination of voluntary exercise and green tea extract that likely had the greatest effect. As he told Penn State News, “Green tea seems to modulate genes related to energy metabolism.”

This is not the first study to indicate green tea’s effect on metabolism. An earlier study indicated that green tea extract improved endurance and energy metabolism in mice during exercise.

It’s important to note that the scientists are studying mice, not people, and that they’re giving the mice green tea extract, a concentrated form of green tea.

To get the most out of green tea, we suggest ingesting it the old fashioned way – brewing up a pot or whisking up a cup of matcha. In fact, scientists at the Mayo Clinic agree that the best way to get the benefits from food is to choose whole foods over supplements.

How much green tea should you drink? The NIH says a common “dose” of green tea is 2-3 cups a day, or that what is typically consumed in Asian countries on a daily basis.