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  • Green tea better for weight loss?


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    Tuesday, December 02, 2003 4:50 am Email this article
    Catechins, found more abundantly in green tea than oolong tea, have also been shown to reduce body fat in rodents according to Taylor in her book Green Tea. After one month, rats that were given a diet containing five percent catechins had body fat levels of 7 percent compared to 11 percent for rats not given catechins (p. 65).

    In another study, according to Nader, weight gain was suppressed, although not completely, in rats fed a high-fat diet (containing 15 percent palm oil) plus 1 percent catechins (p. 65). However, the studies do not appear to be published. The reference she gives simply says Food Research Laboratories.

    Taylor notes that a 5 percent catechin diet is equivalent to a human consuming about 20 cups of tea per day (p. 65).

    Catechins are ACE inhibitors. Taylor states that catechins have been found to lower blood pressure in a manner similar to anti-hypertensive drugs known as ACE inhibitors—by inhibiting angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)(p. 61).

    Catechins inhibit amylase. Catechins have been shown to inhibit amylase, an enzyme involved in the digestion of starches. Theoretically this might help to induce weight loss, however, evidence seems to be lacking. “Clinical studies have yet to indicate any significant effect of [amylase inhibitors] on body weight,” notes George Bray in the book Handbook of Obesity (p. 967). Gastrointestinal side effects including bloating and intestinal discomfort and excess gas are common with higher doses of amylase inhibitors according to Bray (p. 967). Legumes and the dietary fibers wheat bran, cellulose, guar gum and psyllium also contain amylase inhibitors according to Gallaher and Schneeman in the book Present Knowledge in Nutrition (p. 92).

    REFERENCE

    Taylor N. Green Tea. Kensington Books. New York, 1998.

    Gallaher DD; Schneeman BO. Dietary Fiber. In Present Knowledge in Nutrition 7th edition. Ziegler EE; Filer LJ (editors). ILSI Press, Washington, DC, 1996.

    Bray G. Pharmacological Treatment of Obesity. In Handbook of Obesity. Bray GA; Bouchard C; James WPT (editors). Marcel Dekker, New York, 1998.

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