Green tea is a natural substance derived from the dried leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Unlike other teas produced from this plant, namely black and oolong tea, green leaves are left unfermented. Keeping the leaves in their natural state minimizes any oxidation that occurs during processing and allows the tea to retain its unique polyphenols, or natural chemicals, which are known as catechins. Of the many available, the tea’s most powerful and plentiful catechin is one known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCg.
While catechins provide a wide range of health benefits, their most interesting benefit is their ability to stimulate weight loss and possibly create a skinny body. Recently, researchers from the Chinese Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety, Peking University and Kao Corporation teamed up to determine the effects of regular catechin consumption on adults with moderate to large amounts of abdominal fat. During the 12-week study, 118 Chinese adults were broken into two groups, with one receiving a daily catechin-fortified beverage and the other consuming a control beverage. After 12 weeks, the adults who consumed the catechin-fortified beverage lost significant amounts of abdominal fat as well as overall body fat when compared to the control group. In this case, neither group was asked to exercise or change their daily diet. However, doing so can greatly increase the effects of catechin-rich tea.
The effectiveness of consuming catechin-rich tea or extract is believed to be due to the chemical’s ability to enhance metabolic function. EGCg and other catechins enhance thermogenesis in visceral fat and increase lipid oxidation. These functions help users burn existing body fat, especially around the abdominal region, while preventing further fat storage.
In addition to helping dieters achieve the skinny body they have always wanted, tea offers numerous other benefits that support optimal health. Catechins are not only effective fat burners; they also work as potent anticancer and anti-inflammatory agents. These natural chemicals, as well as the tea’s other enzymes and antioxidants, are known to lower cholesterol, support heart health, prevent diabetes and promote healthy brain function. These benefits make green tea an effective way to enhance weight loss efforts, get rid of unwanted body fat and improve overall health.