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Green tea combats obesity (but 10 cups a day is needed)

Published 16.3.2012 19:14:35CET


Green tea reduces obesity and several inflammatory biomarkers related to poor health. This is evident from a study by Ohio State University (United States) in which mice fed a diet containing 2 percent green tea extract obtained better results in these sections.

The benefits appear to be due to better intestinal health, which includes more beneficial microbes in the intestines and less permeability in the intestinal wall, a condition generally known as a leaking gut. Green tea, in short, can stimulate the growth of gut bacteria. This leads to a number of benefits that reduce the risk of obesity.

Green tea has a long history in Asian countries and is increasingly believed to be in the West, partly because of its potential health benefits. Catechins, a series of anti-inflammatory polyphenols found in green tea, have been linked to cancer against cancer and lower risk of heart and liver disease.

Based on this background, the researchers developed an experiment that examined the effects of green tea on male mice with a regular diet and a fatty diet designed to cause obesity. For eight weeks, half of the animals took the obesity diet and the other half to a regular diet. In both groups, half of the green tea mix mixed with the food.

Then, they saturated body weight and fat tissue, insulin resistance and other factors including intestinal permeability, intestinal microbial assembly, or intestinal and fat tissue inflammation. Mice with a high fat supplemented with green tea received about 20 percent less weight and had lower insulin resistance than mice feeding an identical diet without tea.

These mice also had less inflammation in adipose tissue and intestines. In addition, green tea appeared to protect itself against the movement of endotoxin, a toxic bacterial component, outside its organs and into the bloodstream. In addition, they found evidence that the envelopes of these mice were stronger, less "permeable".

The researchers also found that green tea seemed to contribute to a healthier microbial composition in mice that had a high fat content. Mice fed the normal diet supplemented with green tea also had benefits including: lower weight gain and lower levels of endotoxins and leaking intestinal markers.


The consumption of green tea in the experiment would correspond to about 10 cups of green tea during the day for one person. "It may seem like a lot of tea, but it's not very rare in some parts of the world," explains Richard Bruno, lead author of the study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

Bruno is currently working on a human study that will investigate the effects of green tea on leaking intestines in people with metabolic syndrome, a condition that predisposes people to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

For now, it is too early to extrapolate the results on animals to humans. If the benefits are true in humans, green tea supplements would not be a substitute for food. Consuming a little over a day with other foods, as the mice did in this study, could be better, he says.

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