Teatime can help you get a slimmer waistline.
That’s the conclusion of a new UCLA study that found drinking tea—even without dieting—causes weight loss. That’s great news for the 45 million Americans who struggle on diets each year.1
Researchers at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition divided lab mice into four diet groups:
- Low-fat, high-sugar diet (low in calories)
- High-fat, high-sugar diet (moderate in calories)
- High-fat, high-sugar diet with green tea extract
- High-fat, high-sugar diet with black tea extract
The low-fat, low-cal diet of the first group was designed to mimic traditional weight loss plans.
After four weeks, scientists weighed the mice. Those given green or black tea extracts lost the same amount of weight as the dieting mice. As expected, the mice on the high-fat, high-sugar diet did not lose any weight.2
Professor Susanne Henning is the study’s lead author. She is an adjunct professor at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition.
She said that the research shows that both green and black tea can “contribute to good health and weight loss in humans.” The study recently was published in the European Journal of Nutrition.3
Why Tea Causes Weight Loss
Tea helps you lose weight because it contains polyphenols, the researchers said. These natural chemicals boost gut bacteria associated with lean body mass. And they inhibit bacteria linked to obesity.4
The researchers found that green and black tea trigger weight loss in distinct ways.
Green tea helped the liver metabolize fat, aiding weight loss.5
Black tea, meanwhile, worked on the large intestine. It fueled bacteria called Pseudobutyrivibrio, which speed metabolism. Black tea nearly tripled the large intestine’s ability to metabolize fat into energy instead of storing it. Unlike green tea, it had no effect on the liver.
“The results suggest that both green and black teas are prebiotics,” said Henning, “substances that induce the growth of good microorganisms.”6
Although the study looked at mice, scientists believe their findings hold true for humans. That’s because mice have a metabolism and digestive system that is similar to people.7
Tea Keeps You Healthy
Previous studies confirm that tea is one of the healthiest things you can put in your body.
Studies have found that tea can help prevent cancer due to the powerful antioxidant properties of polyphenols. Tea also can improve brain health, reduce the risk of heart disease, and ease arthritis pain.
And researchers have found that black tea reduces cell death and acts as an anti-aging agent.
No matter which tea you choose—black or green—go organic.
You can buy organic whole leaf or chopped leaf teas at tea stores or your local health food store.
And you don’t need to drink tea all day long to get the health benefits. The tea extract that the UCLA researchers added to the mice’s diet was the human equivalent of about three cups a day.
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