There are numerous pills and supplements to take that claim to assist you in losing weight. Some of these are more biochemical based, while others are more natural. Green tea is one of these natural substances. Does using green tea for weight loss work ? Here we will look at possible effects of using green tea on weight loss. Green tea has claimed to help with weight loss for quite some time, but here we will show you if these claims are true or not.
What is Green Tea ?
Green tea originated in china and is all natural, not going through the same process used to make other teas. It is grown and harvested in different ways. This affects its aroma and taste, allowing all the nutrients to be maintained. The leaves normally go through three or four harvests a year. After they are grown, they are dried using a variety of methods. This includes sun drying, oven drying, or steaming. The process that they go through before being put on the shelf given them a longer shelf life and flavor. There are also numerous types or strains of green tea that is grown within different countries including China, Korea, as well as Japan.
Can it help with different health conditions ?
Green tea is said to be able to assist with many symptoms and conditions. This includes cardiovascular, cholesterol, inflammation (8,9), weight loss, and other conditions. Concerning cholesterol levels, results from some studies point to green tea assisting in decreasing the level of ldl cholesterol, while maintaining hdl levels of cholesterol.(11,14) The main effect green tea is said to have is a thermogenic effect. This increases your rate of metabolism, leading to possible weight loss. It has even been said to decrease muscle atrophy seen due to aging. In one study, three groups were used. One group used a controlled diet, one a high fat diet, and another group used a high fat diet along with green tea extract. This study lasted a total of four months. Results showed that the tea extract prevented loss of lean tissue. This may be beneficial for those inactive, or the older population through decreasing the level of muscle wasting. (1 )
The majority of the time, you think of green tea as assisting in losing weight during the weight loss process. Although there may be some truth to this, green tea can also help in maintaining your body fat, and not so much fat loss. It is said that both green tea and caffeine can work together in effecting ones’ level of thermogenesis and metabolism focusing on specific types of body fat. (2,5) Green tea helps with other medical conditions as well. One study looked at the effects of green tea on metabolism and hormonal effects of women with poly cystic ovarian syndrome. Symptoms of PCOS include an increase in androgen levels, irregular periods, and difficulties getting pregnant. It can also cause long term metabolic issues, along with hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Factors involved in the effects of green tea
The condition is thought to be due to genetic and environmental factors, as well as possible hormonal regulations of the hypothalamus. A decrease in body fat levels through activity can assist in decreasing these effects, although there is no known cure. For the study, two groups of thirty women that had poly cystic ovarian syndrome were looked at. Green tea was given to one group, while a placebo was given to the other group. Results showed a significant decrease for the green tea group in weight, free testosterone levels, and fasting insulin levels when compared to the other groups. The decrease in free testosterone levels may indicate green tea as helping regulate hormonal levels. (7)
There are a number of variables that could effect outcomes of tests that are done on the effects of green tea. This includes things such as gender, activity level, genes, the individual tested, age, previous medical conditions, and other factors. This is true because no two individuals’ metabolism is identical. Although genetics could play a small part in one being overweight, nutritional choices and activity level are two main factors in maintaining a healthy weight.
Supplements for weight loss may help, but they are only to assist in the process. Good eating habits, along with activity when put together with the supplements can be effective. In one study, three treatments were given. This included green tea extract with caffeine, caffeine alone, and a placebo. The green tea group had an increase in twenty-four hour energy expenditure, with the caffeine only showing no change. This showed a possible effect of the green tea extracts in promoting thermogenesis and fat use for energy.(3 )
Concerning genetics and ones’ response to green tea, it was looked at finding the mechanism of protection against obesity. (10 ) Your level of health and activity can also play a role in whether or not green tea would effect your body composition. If your level of activity is high and you are not extremely over weight, green tea may not have as much of an effect as it does for one who is inactive and not as healthy.
For one study, the effects of green tea on overall weight loss and abdominal fat loss was looked at. Subjects used were average level of activity. Three groups were used, a control group, a green tea group, an interval sprint group, and an interval sprint group plus green tea group. The green tea plus training group had thirty-six total sessions over twelve weeks, with forty eight total subjects tested.
Both training only and training plus green tea groups had a decrease in body fat and an increase in lean mass. No difference was seen between the interval training plus green tea or interval training only groups concerning weight loss. No changes were seen in the control and green tea only groups. This shows that your activity level may have more of an effect on weight loss as opposed to the green tea. (12 ) Although green tea may not effect body fat loss in some, it can have an effect on your endurance capacity through increasing it, as well as the use of fat for fuel (4)
Instead of assisting in fat loss, green tea may help in the prevention of obesity or hypoglycemia. It has shown when levels of cholesterol were tested to assist in actually reducing the levels of bad cholesterol, while leaving the good cholesterol unchanged. (11,15 ). Although green tea is said to assist in increasing ones’ thermogenic level and metabolism, specific foods can also effect its effectiveness. (13) Green tea has also been found to have no effects on decreasing specific bio markers of obesity (6). This indicates that green tea may have a positive effect on many other more serious medical conditions.
Overall, green tea is a good natural supplement to use for weight loss and for general health and well-being. The previous medical conditions mentioned along with general health and wellness are great reasons to use it and put it into your daily nutrition.