Drinking Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) can not only prolong your life, and decrease your chances of cardiovascular disease, but various studies have shown that it is a potent anti-oxidant and help with fat metabolism and weight loss. Lin et al published in Obesity Research (2005) that green tea extract increased apoptosis(cellular destruction) in mature adipocytes and inhibited lipid accumulation in mature adipocytes in a dose-dependent manner. Also, green tea decreases your appetite cravings.
How does green tea work as a potent appetite suppressant? Green tea has been shown to decrease the breakdown of norepinephrine and dopamine which are part of the sympathetic nervous system known as catecholamines. The sympathetic nervous system has been shown to decrease appetite in anticipation of a fight or flight situation. Green Tea inhibits the breakdown of these catecholamines which suppress appetite. In addition, green tea will increase CCK levels. CCK is a hormone that is secreted by the stomach and intestines to signal fullness to the brain. Green tea acts as an appetite suppressant by increasing CCK levels.
With regard to longevity and anti-aging, another Japanese study published in Jama (2006) showed that green tea consumption was inversely associated with mortality due to all causes because of the anti-oxidant effects. Green tea contains numerous cancer-fighting polyphenol compounds such as the potent anti-oxidant flavonoid catechin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG has been shown in various studies to protect against cancers of the lungs, skin, liver, pancreas, and stomach.
The studies seem to show that the health benefits of green tea seem to be demonstrated at 5 to 7 cups of tea per day. In my own life, I have substituted daily diet sodas with green tea and I have noticed some great benefits in my energy levels, decreased illness, and weight management. The green tea seems to keep my appetite cravings at bay which is important as I have a really really big sweet tooth. I drink my green tea with trivia and I am trying to keep all those artificial sweeteners out of my body. I have found the green tea to be an excellent tool in helping to manage my weight. I hope you will too.
Alvin Antony, MD