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The Green Tea Diet Reviewed

Aug 17, 2007
Due to the popularity of recent findings, green tea has almost become synonymous with weight loss and diet. The addition of green tea diet into diet pills and weight loss supplements is perhaps spurred by reports of harmful side-effects of other drugs like ephedra.

Why Choose the Green Tea Diet?

For four thousand years, green tea has been used all throughout Asia as a beneficial health and medicinal drink. It is different from all other tea diets because its liquid is extracted by steaming the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant as opposed to full oxidation. In this way, the green tea diet manages to preserve a lot more antioxidants and keep them intact for the body to use.

The green tea diet is an excellent source of polycatechin polyphenols, a group of antioxidants that act on free radicals. These free radicals have harmful effects on the body since they are the major causes of diseases and aging. With polycatechin polyphenols, a person has a better chance of avoiding ailments and keeping himself healthy for a much longer period of time.

Another antioxidant in the green tea diet is also being studied as a potential cure for cancer. Epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG found in the diet has been discovered to destroy cancer cells while keeping surrounding healthy cells unharmed.

The EGCG also acts with another compound, caffeine (a small amount of this is found in green tea). The interaction of these two compounds causes the diet to promote thermogenesis in the body.

It has been noted by a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that with the consumption of the green tea diet, the body's total 24-hour energy expenditure is increased by up to four percent. This is roughly equivalent to losing more than 10 pounds of weight a month.

The diet helps increase the body's metabolic rates. With its thermogenic properties, it is only natural that it can also promote faster metabolism of fats and sugars. Excess glucose found in the body is turned into fats by the hormone insulin. Because green tea has an inhibiting effect on insulin, it therefore helps keep sugar from being stored as fats and instead, send them directly into the muscles for immediate use.

The Downside

Although the diet has a reputation for boosting health, scientific proofs of its health benefits are still somewhat mixed. However, in an article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, American researchers collaborated with their Chinese counterparts to discuss the beneficial effects of green tea diet on cholesterol levels.

Using 240 men and women (average age 55) who possess mild to moderately high LDL cholesterol levels, the researchers instructed them to retain their usual low-fat diet, green tea diet intake, and activity levels. After twelve weeks, it was found that those who consumed the green tea diet extract with their regular meals lost more than fifteen percent of their total LDL cholesterol levels.

Although the researchers never explained how the green tea diet may influence cholesterol levels, previous studies have shown that certain compounds play a role in reducing the amount of cholesterol absorbed by the body, increasing amount of cholesterol excreted, and thus keeping cholesterol from being stored in the liver.

Subsequent studies were made to test the findings of the first group of researchers. Their results were contradictory. They found there was no significant effect on the cholesterol profiles of their subjects.

There is no such thing as a miracle diet. The green tea diet like all other diets needs a lot of work and input from those who enroll in it. It requires both discipline and determination for it to make any significant impact on your weight loss goals.
About the Author
Julie Health writes about weight loss with green tea. Feel free to learn more benefits of drinking green tea.
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