Earl Grey tea, tea drinkers

Research in mice hints that tea drinkers might find it easier to lose weight than those choosing other beverages. Green tea has a reputation as aiding in weight loss (Turkozu & Tek, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Jan. 22, 2017). But a new study suggests that black tea might also prove useful.

How Would Tea Drinkers Keep from Gaining Weight?

The scientists knew that decaffeinated polyphenols from both green and black tea would keep mice from gaining weight (Henning et al, European Journal of Nutrition, online Sept 30, 2017). The compounds from green tea are absorbed into the body, but those from black tea are too large to pass through the lining of the small intestine. So how would they work?

Tea Compounds Shape Gut Microbiota:

Mice in the study were assigned to four different diets. All were high in sugar, which promotes weight gain. But one was low in fat and another high in fat. (Presumably, a high-fat, high-sugar diet promotes weight gain in mice as well as in humans.) In addition, a third group of mice got a high-fat, high-sugar diet with green tea extract while a fourth got the same diet, but with black tea extract.

Tea Compounds Blocked Weight Gain:

The mice with either tea extract in their diets gained no more weight than those on the low-fat diet. Analysis of intestinal microbes showed a shift in the balance toward bacteria associated with lean body mass.

While this is a mouse study, human tea drinkers might anticipate similar benefits. Of course, the diet that they follow will also have an impact on weight control (Yang et al, Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, Jan. 2016).

It may be helpful for tea drinkers to be able to choose their favorite beverage, whether it is green or black tea. Drinking it with little or no sugar might be best for avoiding weight gain. An Australian researcher developed a simple brewing technique for maximizing the compounds from green tea. We wrote about it here.

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  1. harry price
    Lewisville NC

    As a fellow Carolinian, you know that we southerners drink copious quantities of iced black tea. Looking at southern waistlines, I can only wonder how big we would be without the tea!

  2. Jen

    I’ve never seen an overweight person drink tea. Usually soft drinks. The worse thing you can drink.

  3. Laura
    Southern Ca

    I drank green tea for years in a desperate attempt to loose weight I have PKD (polycystic kidney disease) and fibromyalgia . Then diagnosed with hep C from a 1975 blood transfusion, in a desperate attempt to loose weight drank daily green tea , hate the taste , with honey, I never lost a pound, and had very stained teeth.

    I am able to drink coffee again, I treated the hepC with horrible orange pills, side effects, YES, but they tell me the hep C gone. I feel worse than ever now PKD progressed , creatine still good, but more swelling kidney cysts after 2 surgerys, removal of total 8 cysts counting both kidneys, year apart untreated infection, now after surgery on left kidney removal of 2 cysts pushing my liver out, couldn’t flip me to do the upper left side, bleeding, now have clips adjacent to rt surgical site. no one told me, found out all this info from a CT scan I requested. now referred to as a mass.

    Seems I have developed 2 hernias one Bochdalek one sliding hiatal both in my DIAPHRAM. I see another surgeon today…. I wonder now why I tried so hard to get better, for my daughter, too much more to mention. I realize many people younger than I have serious issues too, many worse than I. But I just want to be done. I tried as hard as I can, but its not my call. Grateful for the time i have had. Golden years ? NOT. Jean

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