Against visceral fat and to reduce the waistline, help comes from green tea! This emerges from a research published a few years ago in the Journal of Functional Food by a Chinese team (Zhang et al, Journal of Functional Food, 2012).
The properties of green tea
Green tea is a much appreciated drink and its strength is not only in the light green infusion with an unmistakable aroma. In fact, green tea is also a precious source of antioxidant, anticancer, neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties, also capable of reducing bad LDL cholesterol. These healthy actions are mainly due to a substance contained in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate, an antioxidant of the catechin family. The study we are talking about today analyzed the effect of green tea on body fat and, in particular, on visceral fat, which is the most dangerous type of fat. In fact, visceral fat, which is the fat that is concentrated under the abdominal muscles, is not inert but stimulates the release of hormones and increases inflammation levels. Inflammation, in turn, weakens the immune system, increases the risk of depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes but also cellular degeneration. Hence the importance of counteracting the accumulation of fat around the waistline.
Green tea reduces visceral fat, the study
Researchers recruited 118 people, all obese and aged between 20 and 65 years. A necessary condition to be recruited was to have a waist circumference greater than 80 cm for women and 90 cm for men, thus indicating the presence of abdominal fat. The study participants were divided into two groups. The first group was asked to drink a beverage containing 600 mg of catechins extracted from green tea every day for 12 weeks. The second group instead took a placebo. All volunteers were asked to continue with their lifestyle and diet without making any changes. Before, during and after the experiment, the volunteers underwent medical visits and examinations to measure body mass index, waist size and fat mass. What emerged was that those who had taken green tea catechins had a significant reduction in visceral fat and waistline.
Green tea catechins help counteract the accumulation of visceral fat and reduce the waistline. In the study, volunteers drank a beverage to which 600 mg of catechins extracted from green tea had been added. But how much green tea do you need to drink to achieve the same result? Normally, since 100 ml of green tea contains about 100 mg of catechins, drinking the generally recommended amount of green tea, 3-4 cups of 250 ml per day, allows you to reach, and exceed, the amount of catechins used in experiment (Prasanth et al, Nutrients, 2019). This, however, is a general assessment, much depends on the type of tea, Japanese teas contain more catechins than Chinese teas, and on the infusion time, to extract the catechins an infusion time of 10 minutes is recommended at 60-70 °C. In addition, one of the teas that contains the most catechins is matcha green tea, which can provide up to 137 times more catechins than a Chinese tea, China Green Tips used as a comparison in the study, and up to three times more catechins than other types of green tea indicated as the richest in catechins (Weiss et al, J Chromotogr A, 2003).