Green tea has been used by the Chinese for literally thousands of years to help them to lose weight, live longer, and feel healthier. It should come as no real surprise that there is a lot of science supporting its use, considering how often researchers have talked about its benefits over the years. What does green tea actually do and how can it help people lose weight and live healthier?
There’s no simple answer to this question that scientists have found yet, but it appears that green tea contains several compounds unique to this plant that are only rarely found in other plants (and in much lower quantities). It contains a plethora of antioxidants which fight cancer and keep it from forming in the user’s body over time. Beyond that there are unique compounds called polyphenols which help boost metabolism and decrease appetite. These are similar to what’s found in coffee, but what’s different is that this is not caused by the caffeine content but instead by direct biological signals to the person’s brain.
There are some difficulties in actually receiving all of these benefits that green tea has to offer, however. Drinking the tea, while certainly good for you, is not the best way to absorb these antioxidants, polyphenol compounds or the weight loss benefits it has to offer. Instead, people are advised to take natural and unprocessed green tea as a supplement. This is not really possible to eat on its own, as it’s far too bitter. Researchers, however, do not give up so easily and have in fact found other methods of taking this compound daily.
Green tea once it’s fermented and burnt into a liquid loses nearly all of its antioxidants and other benefits. This has been known for years among researchers, who have been looking for ways to harness the innate benefits of green tea that it naturally has, but without having to eat the leaves themselves (something that’s both extremely difficult on the palate and stomach). What was developed instead was the use of green tea extracts, concentrated forms of the tea that a person consumes directly through supplementation.
Green tea extract preserves the polyphenols and antioxidants that are so important for our bodies. These compounds have actually been shown in recent studies to help people to lose weight as well, a novel use that is only just now beginning to be studied. The results are promising, a recent study of over 200 participants found that people taking green tea extract each day, even without dietary changes whatsoever, lost roughly 4 times more fat over the course of a two month period. This was compared to a placebo group. It should be noted that neither group actually went on a diet or were told to exercise any more than before.
What does this mean for the future of green tea extracts for health benefits? The research is still out, but preliminary results certainly are promising. Though there needs to be more studies to confirm all of these benefits, so far, it appears that green tea extracts help reduce carcinogens, stabilize blood sugar levels, increase metabolism, decrease weight gain, and help to absorb fat we eat. If verified, these certainly are some stellar benefits, and likely represents one of the most effective supplements in the world given its health impacts.