Despite the appearance of a coffee shop on every corner its seems that green tea is the most popular beverage word-wide after water. Not such a bad thing really when you consider the health benefits of green tea – in particular those related to weight loss which have been documented in several studies.


Green tea contains polyphenols that are recognised for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective activities. New research recently published in The FASEB Journal, corroborates earlier weight loss claims for green tea as well as revealing its potential health benefits for cognitive disorders.

Animal studies carried out by The College of Food Science and Engineering at Northwest A&F University in China have identified that green tea has a positive impact on body weight and memory recall.

It seems that a component in green tea called EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) could help to alleviate high-fat and high-fructose induced insulin resistance and cognitive impairment. EGCG is the biologically active compound found in green tea responsible for these effects.

Using 3 groups of mice – the control group fed a standard diet, another given a high-fat high-fructose diet and the final group fed a high-fat high-fructose diet along with 2g EGCG per 1 litre water; researchers monitored their weight and brain responses to a simple task designed to test memory.

After 16 weeks the results revealed significant differences between the groups:

  • The mice fed with a high-fat, high-fructose diet gained more weight than the control group and had a significantly higher final body weight than the mice fed a high-fat high-fructose diet and given EGCG.
  • The mice fed with a high-fat high-fructose diet and given EGCG performed far better in a ‘Morris Water Maze test’ compared to the other 2 groups showing that EGCF could improve High-fat High-fructose induced memory impairment.

Positive effects were likely due to regulation and inhibition of inflammation, up-regulation of insulin receptor substrates and improvement of oxidative cellular status and mitochondrial function.

The results are very encouraging as they provide yet more evidence that the ancient habit of drinking green tea may be a useful tool in combatting obesity and insulin resistance as well as improving learning and memory loss.


References

Fan R et al. EGCG ameliorates high-fat– and high-fructose–induced cognitive defects by regulating the IRS/AKT and ERK/CREB/BDNF. The FASEB Journal, 2017.
Jurgens T and Whelan AM.  Can green tea preparations help with weight loss? Can Pharm J (Ott). 2014 May; 147(3): 159–160.
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