A dietary supplement of green tea has now been shown to help lower multiple factors associated with the metabolic syndrome in overweight adults.
The 56 participants in this study were classified as obese, insulin resistant, and hypertensive, meaning they already had multiple difficult metabolic issues similar to millions of Americans. Amazingly they took a relatively small daily amount of green tea extract standardized for 208 mg of the most potent antioxidant catechin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
After three months of supplementation they had statistically significant reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures, fasting serum glucose, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Additionally, there were significant reductions in inflammation in both TNFa and CRP. Although this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial is relatively small, these are dramatic health benefits in a difficult patient population.
Previously, I reported on a study with 103 postmenopausal women who took either 400 mg or 800 mg of EGCG over an eight week period and were able to lower their cholesterol and blood sugar (either dose was beneficial). I also explained that cell studies show that the antioxidant power ofgreen tea protects the lining of your arteries from damage as well as prevents the oxidation (injury) to LDL cholesterol, which happens prior to LDL cholesterol forming plaque.
I also reviewed the results of a number of clinical trials on green tea and weight loss in my article,The Effects of Green Tea on Weight Management. Many of these studies reported the amount of green tea catechins as a catechin total (there are four primary catechins), of which EGCG is typically around 30 percent. Thus, most of these studies used EGCG, ranging from 200 mg per day up to 600 mg per day.
The collective body of green tea science now supports the regular use of this nutrient for those who struggle with multiple metabolic issues. Of course, any nutrient in and of itself is no magic bullet. You must engage the process of weight loss with a proper diet and maintain a consistent activity/exercise program. Green tea is one nutrient that cannot only help you out of a stuck rut; but can also help speed your progress if you are already headed in the right direction. The fact that the nutrient offers extensive protection to your cardiovascular system while it helps engage your metabolism is a true bonus.
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist