Green Tea and the weight loss connection

Posted By on January 3, 2011

Tea has been used medicinally for over five thousand years and dates back in Chinese medical text to 2737 BC. In 1211, the founder of Zen Buddhism, Eisai Myo-an, highly encouraged the consumption of tea for good health and long life. In 2001, the World Health Organization determined that citizens of Japan possess not only the longest life expectancy in the world, but also the healthiest. The average intake of green tea in Japan varies from 3 to 10 cups a day, which has been scientifically shown to promote heart and immune system health.

Why Green Tea?
Few teas can claim the medicinal power and world-wide recognition that green tea (camella sinesis) holds. Green tea has rightfully earned its status, considering it contains some of the most potent antioxidants known. Camella sinesis is the same plant used to make white, green and black tea, although green tea contains a higher concentration of polyphenols than fermented black or partially fermented oolong tea.

Science has since been able to confirm the earlier suspicions that tea promotes good health by identifying hundreds of beneficial phytonutrients contained within the tea leaf. These phytonutrients, including polyphenols and flavonoids, are responsible for protecting the body against free-radical damage that can result in poor health and disease.

Traditionally, green tea was used to regulate body temperature, promote healthy digestion, and support mental and liver function. Since then, science has given us evidence of its greater potential, including its role in cancer prevention and its anti-aging effects. It has shown success in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, gingivitis, obesity, and fatigue.

The Weight Loss Connection
Green tea plays more than one important role in weight loss. Green tea stimulates lipolysis, causing the breakdown and utilization of fat by increasing levels of cyclic AMP. Cyclic AMP is contained within fat cells and affects hormonal messages. Cyclic AMP amplifies the reaction within the cell to adrenaline (hormone), which sends it a ‘message’ to burn fat. This encourages the breakdown and utilization of stored fat.

In addition to an increased cellular sensitivity to adrenaline, green tea is a mild stimulant. It naturally contains caffeine that stimulates digestion, kidney and liver function as well as providing an extra source of energy to the body. Through it’s action on these organs, caffeine can increase metabolism and help eliminate toxins (caffeine is a toxin if taken in excess). However, green tea contains much lower amounts of caffeine than coffee and black tea.

Green Tea and Your Diet
If you are planning to supplement green tea for medicinal purposes it is available in liquid, tablet and capsule form. If at all possible, drinking 3 to 10 cups per day or taking the recommended dose of the liquid tincture has a more immediate effect than taking it in pill form. A supplement should contain a standardized extract of 80-90% polyphenols and 35-55% epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a potent flavonoid in green tea.

Works Cited
1. New Chapter. 2006. New Chapter Products; Specialty Formulas; Green & White Tea. Accessed 1/15/06.

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