Posted by Arbor Teas on February 09, 2009
Good news for those of us battling the "bulge"! According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, a team of researchers from American and Japanese institutions recently found that consuming the catechin in green tea "enhances exercise-induced changes in abdominal fat." The team set out to determine whether green tea catechin would have an influence on body composition and fat distribution in overweight and obese adults who were on an exercise program to lose weight.
Kevin Maki, PhD, president of Provident Clinical Research & Consulting, indicates that the group of 107 participants who completed the study were roughly half men and half women, with an average age of 48 years. Their average body mass index (a measure of weight divided by height) was 32.2 (25-29.9 is considered overweight).
Researchers divided participants into two groups and gave one of them regular doses of green tea catechin over a 12-week period. During that time, the participants also were put on a regular exercise regime. While both groups lost weight and body fat, "Subjects in the catechin group [lost] more abdominal fat, suggesting the catechins may have promoted preferential loss of abdominal fat."
When asked whether he had any theories to explain the outcome of the study, Maki said factors that control where body fat is deposited are "poorly understood" and emphasized that much more work needs to be done to understand exactly why catechins had the effect on abdominal fat that they did.
However, he added: "One potentially important factor may be the sympathetic nervous system, which influences various functions like heart rate and blood pressure. Catechins seem to have an effect that mimics activation of the sympathetic nervous system. As a result, they may increase resting metabolic rate and influence the rate at which fat is released from fat cells in different locations."