On the very onset, there are two things amply clear. Every time is ‘tea time’ and we are a generation obsessed with anorexic picture-perfect models. We love life, we love food, we don’t exercise, we aim perfection and we want well sculptured beautiful bodies.
Well, green tea is a zero-calorie drink (remember to keep sugar and honey away) but its role in losing weight is slightly debatable. Green tea has earlier been reported to have anticancer properties and also known to raise the levels of antioxidants in the blood. But now a new study in the International Journal of Obesity concludes that green tea extract aids in the burning of calories and fat needed to lose weight. Studies have also shown that green tea increases thermogenesis, which means generating body heat that arises as a result of normal digestion, absorption and metabolic consumption of food. Green tea contains the antioxidants catechin polyphenols which are responsible for all the exaggerated health benefits of green tea. One antioxidant named epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG is found to stimulate the metabolism and thus help in weight loss.
In one of the studies conducted by Abdul Dulloo, from the Institute of Physiology (University of Fribourg, Switzerland), researchers experimented with a specific type of fatty tissue from rats, caffeine and green tea extract. Green tea containing caffeine increased thermogenesis from 28% to 77% depending on the quantity used in the test. But the catch here is using ‘caffeine and ephedrine’ together, and there are many health issues and safety concerns when the two are consumed. Burning of calories may happen… but at what cost is something we need to dwell deep.
Another school of thought believes that green tea extract made through a probiotic process helps to stabilize the pituitary gland, which includes the pituitary axis that consists of adrenal glands, ovaries, thyroid, and the pituitary gland. Drinking a lot of green tea that contains fluoride may slowdown the metabolism by depleting the body of iodine that is used to make T3 and T4 hormones that regulate metabolism. But iodine is important, therefore a fine balance is essential; this could be the reason why Japanese who drink a lot of green tea also eat huge amounts of sea weed and mineralized foods which compensates for the minerals that green tea depletes them of. Americans on the other hand do not do this and suffer the consequences of fluoridation.
Green tea does create a feeling of fullness, works as an effective appetite suppressant and can boost your metabolism a bit. But it is not a miracle pill. Diet and exercise is the key. When you eat less and eat right you will not only regain good health but also maintain the correct weight.
Lastly, don’t drink anything you don’t like just because it supposedly aids weight loss. Instead drink water, try putting some additive flavours in water or look for some low calorie drink. Your body needs plenty of fluids, and remember green tea is just one option and not a magical bullet.