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Green Tea for weight loss: The interaction between caffeine and catechins
Tuesday, March 23, 2004 8:14 am Email this article
"Green tea extract stimulates brown adipose tissue thermogenesis to an extent which is much greater than can be attributed to its caffeine content per se," concluded Abdul Dulloo and colleagues in a paper which explains how green tea extract stimulates thermogenesis.
The reason for this is that there seems to be an interaction between the caffeine and the catechins found in green tea.
The caffeine not only stimulates the release of noradrenaline, it also inhibits phosphodiesterases which are enzymes that break down noradrenaline-induced rises in cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP).
The catechins found in green tea add to the effect by inhibiting catechol-O-methyl-transferase (COMT), the enzyme that degrades noradrenaline.
Interestingly, a new class of drugs which are COMT-inhibitors in combination with L-dopa are being studied for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease.
Their action in Parkinson’s is to help prevent degradation of L-dopa in the body so that more can reach the brain.
However there appears to be concerns about liver toxicity with the COMT-inhibitors that have been tested so far.
Has anyone tried green tea catechins plus L-dopa for Parkinsons?
Apparently not. Hopefully someone will give it a try.
Dulloo AG; Seydoux J; Girardier L; Chantre P; Vandermander J. Green tea and thermogenesis: interactions between catechin-polyphenols, caffeine and sympathetic activity. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 2000 Feb, 24(2):252-258.
Rivest J; Barclay CL; Suchowersky O. COMT inhibitors in Parkinson’s disease. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, 1999 Aug, 26 Suppl 2:S34-8.
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