For 4,000 years, the Chinese people have been using green tea as treatment for everything from headaches to depression, but who knew that it could contribute to weight loss as well? The rich presence of catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the reason why green tea has so many health benefits.

But for this article, we’re going to take a look at green tea extract and weight loss.

For many years, researchers have believed that the weight loss benefits derived from green tea extract were due to the caffeine content. However, a past study (as reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) demonstrated that other compounds beyond the caffeine in the tea contributed to the increase in metabolism and fat oxidation in the body.

In this study, the researchers administered the same amount of caffeine as that found in green tea extract and found that it failed to achieve any significant changes in the body’s overall energy expenditure. This led them to conclude that the extract had ingredients that actively interact with each other, promoting increased metabolism and fat oxidation that lead to weight loss.

Further findings indicated that certain compounds called flavonoids (antioxidants found naturally in plants) may alter the way the body uses norepinephrine, a hormone that monitors how calories are burned. When flavonoids interact with the other tea ingredients, calories are actually burned faster.

But that wasn’t all.

Flavonoids also interact with the other ingredients to promote fat burning and thermogenesis (a process of losing energy by daytime heat).

A study conducted by the University of Geneva on green tea extract and weight loss indicated that the tea can also help thyroid patients. According to dietitian Lynn Moss, M.S., R.D., green tea extract is a healthier choice for people with a thyroid that may be sensitive to drugs or other stimulants.

Apart from the studies, green tea extract has been shown to come without adverse side-effects. Unlike other herbal products (such as ephedra) or various prescription drugs for obesity, the extract will not increase your heart rate or raise your blood pressure.

A common beverage throughout Asia, green tea has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and even ulcers. As if that weren’t enough, through numerous studies it has now been shown to be effective at helping people lose weight. A natural substance with no side-effects, green tea extract and weight loss seem like a perfect combination.

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