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What You Should Know About Oolong Tea And Weight Loss
While the whole world knows tea as beneficial to one’s health, studies found one more benefit to add to the list – weight loss. Researchers discovered the link between oolong tea and weight loss, as well as the difference between drinking tea and taking dietary supplements containing tea extracts.
Caffeine and Weight Loss
A 1999 study conducted by the Department of Biochemistry at Ehime University in Japan that the oolong tea’s caffeine and other substances have an anti-obesity effect on noradrenaline-induced lipolysis in the adipose tissue, as well as on pancreatic lipase activity. Conclusions were made after performing the study on diet-induced obese mice, when researchers treated them with oolong tea for 10 weeks.
Oolong Tea and Energy Metabolism
Another study in Japan conducted by the Department of Applied Nutrition at the University of Tokushima School of Medicine found that oolong tea also affects the body’s resting energy expenditure (REE), or the calories you would burn if you only rested for the day. In the study, researchers gave 11 young Japanese women of average weight with either water, oolong tea, or green tea.
Two hours after the women drank their assigned beverage, researchers measured their REE using an indirect calorimeter and found that the group who drank oolong tea had a 10 percent increase of their REE. Meanwhile, those who drank green had a four percent increase and the group who drank water did not show any increase at all.
Researchers also found that oolong tea, compared with green tea, has only half the caffeine levels but more than double the polymerized polyphenols, which are said to be the major component of oolong tea that links it to burning fat.
Tea and Health Benefits
As tea has been enjoyed by people around the world for several millenia, it was considered good news to many upon learning that drinking tea, especially green tea and oolong tea, can be good for the health.
Research on tea and its health benefits have only begun 30 or so years ago, and most of them have been performed in the past ten years, according to Hasan Mukhtar, who is vice chair of dermatology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
While most studies are either population-based, such as research on prostate cancer being less common in countries where people drink a lot of green tea, or in lab dishes or animals, an example of which was the study at Ehime University. Only recently did researchers started performing experiments on human subjects, like the one at Tokushima University School of Medicine, for example.
Health benefits found in tea aside from weight loss are protection against heart disease and a variety of cancers, improvement of good cholesterol levels, and even better focus.
The Gimmick of Tea Extracts
However, just because drinking tea might be good for you doesn’t mean tea extract in foods and dietary supplements give the same benefits. In fact, there are several case reports on liver damage due to taking supplements containing tea extracts, according to Chung Yang, biochemist and cancer researcher at Rutgers University who co-wrote a paper suggesting danger of such products with high doses of green tea extracts.
The paper, published in the journal Chemical Research Toxicology on April 2007, also reported that liver function returned to normal after those affected stopped taking the supplements.
While studies also found that high doses of tea catechins, which are added in dietary supplements, can damage the kidneys and intestine as well, there are no published reports concering toxicity from drinking tea, said Yang.