Green tea could lower visceral fat without other dietary tweaks

Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning

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Lurking deep inside your belly, visceral fat can raise the spectre of serious health problems, ranging from diabetes to heart disease. Therefore, it’s imperative to eliminate the fatty culprit. While there’s no silver bullet when it comes to diet, one drink seems to be especially potent on its own.

Old habits die hard and your cup of tea is probably something you won’t compromise on.

However, swapping your regular brew for green tea could offer some significant benefits for visceral fat.

According to research, published in the journal Obesity, this tea blend could help burn fat as well as reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

The research team decided to put antioxidants in the green drink into a test by looking at human subjects.

What’s more, the usual dietary and exercise habits of these participants were maintained throughout the trial.

Green tea contains a group of antioxidants, known as polyphenols, which make up to 30 percent of its dry weight. 

Most of these are flavanols, commonly known as catechins.

Catechins have headlined various studies, with emerging evidence that the plant goodies could have some tricks up their sleeves when it comes to weight loss.

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Apart from catechins, green tea also contains caffeine, which is considered to be a stimulant that helps with fat-burning, energy and exercise performance.

With this in mind, the research team recruited 270 Japanese men and women to observe the fat-loss effects.

The trial saw the subjects ingesting green tea extract containing 583 mg of catechins (catechin group) or 96 mg of catechins (control group) per day.

The team used a double-blinded approach, which means that neither the participants nor the researchers knew which treatment or intervention participants were receiving until the clinical trial was over.

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The findings showed that the group which ingested more catechins experienced greater reductions in their visceral fat area.

What’s more, the research found the hot beverage decreased the stubborn belly fat “significantly over time”.

Catechins also brough about reductions in systolic blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol – both considered precursors to heart disease.

Interestingly, all of these positive effects were observed despite participants keeping to their usual lifestyle habits.

However, it’s important to note that the majority of studies, including this one, use green tea extract instead of the usual beverage.

This is important because green tea extract is usually more potent than a cup of green tea.

“That’s not to say you can’t match the content of green tea extract with the drink, you’ll just have to drink more,” Holland and Barrett explained.

Dr Tim Bond from the Tea Advisory Panel shared that four cups of tea a day should be enough to do the trick. However, he recommended pairing green tea with a healthy diet and exercise as well.

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