Tea began as a medicine and only later grew into a beverage. In very early times tea plant was known in Chinese medicine.
Most historians believed that the Chinese king, Shen Nong, accidentally discovered tea in nearly 3000 B.C.
Some others claim that tea was originally grown in India. And with the spread of Buddhism, it was brought to China, Korea, and Japan.
But in today’s article, we will not deep dive into tea history. Today we will talk about Green Tea. How it can help you to lose weight or does it actually help you to lose weight?
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What is Green Tea
Green tea is a complex mixture of thousands of chemical compounds, including proteins and free amino acids, polysaccharides, vitamins, organic acids, methylxanthines, and polyphenols.
Catechins, caffeine, and L-theanine are often reported as the main phytochemicals responsible for green tea’s health benefits, namely by its antioxidant, hypoglycemic, and neuroprotective properties.
Schematic representation of green tea processing. In the production of green tea, the leaves are harvested and then quickly steamed or fried, to inactivate polyphenol oxidase (PO) and prevent oxidation, before drying.
Use of Green Tea for Weight Loss
Obesity has been increasing at an alarming rate in the last several decades, both in developed and in developing countries, reaching epidemic proportions among young people and adults as well.
Unfortunately, nowadays obesity has become a global health problem. It raises the risk of morbidity from a great number of diseases like diabetes mellitus Type 2, dyslipidemia, arterial hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, and respiratory problems including sleep apnea, etc.
Green tea beverage made from the dried, non-fermented leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis. And it has been consumed for thousands of years by humans.
This tea has attained a high reputation as a health-promoting herb. The increasing interest in the effects of green tea is directed towards its ingredients: catechins, caffeine, and theanine, all of which possess various biological and pharmacologically effects.
It is traditionally thought that consumption of green tea decreases the risks for obesity, helps in reducing body weight, and also in treating overweight patients.
Green tea and its commercial forms (which generally contain ingredients like catechins and caffeine in a higher concentration than the typical green tea beverage) have proved to be highly successful in controlled experiments, but they did not demonstrate identical and unambiguous effects in randomized clinical trials (RCTs).
That is the reason why its safety and efficacy could not be properly judged and claimed to be a complementary and alternative medicine used to aid weight loss and weight maintenance.
To overcome the problem of the insufficient number of RCTs, a lot of systematic reviews and meta-analyses have been conducted.
However, in spite of some benefits shown in decreasing body weight and weight maintenance, the obtained improvement, in general, did not reach statistical significance.
That could be the result of the great heterogeneity of these trials. Among various commercially available teas, green tea is ranked as the second most consumed beverage in the world, with water holding first place.
Green tea has gained a high reputation as nature’s gift in both health promotion and longevity.
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Green Tea Studies
In recent years, an increasing number of randomized control trials (RCT) have been conducted. And confirming the role of green tea in weight loss and weight maintenance.
Green tea extract and EGCG, with or without caffeine, were given to overweight and obese humans for up to 24 weeks in total.
These kinds of treatment were often combined with a low-energy diet plan and/or exercising. The success of the green tea treatment, evaluated on the basis of numerous clinical, anthropometric, and biochemical parameters of obesity, was usually registered, but mixed results were demonstrated as well.
The cumulative results of these studies involve decreased body weight, BMI, waist circumference, body fat, and increased lean body mass.
All these effects lead to better body composition. That could be very beneficial because the impaired body shape developed in obesity is associated with the appearance of comorbidities. Further examination showed a dose-dependent impact of EGCG and caffeine on body weight and fat percentage reduction.
Green Tea’s Power
The importance of herbal tea can be seen in its use in Eastern medicinal culture. Used as a remedy for many illnesses and to promote natural health, green tea’s amazing health benefits come from its rich concentration of powerful antioxidants.
Antioxidants combat serious illnesses and diseases and cleanse the body of toxins and waste, all while providing improved immunity, optimal functioning of the body’s processes, and a great-tasting substitute to water.
Green Tea Polyphenols in Skin Health
Extensive research has shown that green tea extracts not only have amazing antioxidant and cell-protective qualities but also protect collagen by inhibiting collagenase, which is a collagen-reducing enzyme responsible for the breakdown of collagen.
Since green tea extracts are well known as a potent anti-inflammatory agent, they are capable of reducing inflammation in the skin through an inhibitory action on collagenase.
As free radicals are prone to attacking and damaging the DNA of cells, an antioxidant effect of green tea extracts plays a protective role to prevent free radical damage that could result in skin tumors and cancers.
Therefore, green tea polyphenols can be used as an antiaging ingredient in skin care formulations as well as to help skin fight inflammation that might induce premature aging.
EGCG, one of the polyphenols in green tea extract, is generally known to be 20 times more powerful than vitamin E (tocopherols) for neutralizing free radicals since it is effectively absorbed through the skin and acts as an astringent to protect the skin.
Generally, it is recommended to use natural products for skin health since most commercial skincare products available on the market are formulated with synthetic chemical ingredients that can lead to harmful effects on the skin.
Sometimes commercial skincare products are composed of harsh chemicals such as surfactants, detergents, and preservatives that can quickly dry up the skin while taking away the natural protective oils from the skin, causing abrupt irritations and permanently drying out the skin, which can cause allergic reactions.
Green Tea Products
Currently, green tea extracts are used in a number of skin health restoration and cosmetic products, such as creams, toners, scrubs, lotions, treatments, cleansing solutions, and gels. These products boost microcirculation and help ensure healthy skin tone and function.
They also provide desired astringent claims and help to maintain the elasticity and firmness of the skin while protecting the cells in the skin from premature cell death from radiation or extravagant free radicals.
Green Tea Polyphenols in Hair Care
The popularity of green tea extracts is even increasing in hair care and hair cure applications. To date, some studies have reported that green tea polyphenols have the ability to cure hair loss, dandruff, baldness, and psoriasis.
It seems that green tea polyphenols could be touted as a potential cure and provide a better alternative to many existing solutions, such as toupees that usually flap, minoxidil, hair plants, and surgery, which are either expensive or have minimum success in counteracting hair issues, especially hair loss and baldness.
Much evidence has shown that green tea polyphenols are considered anti-inflammatory and have stress-inhibitory characteristics, and also there is evidence that stress inhibits hair growth.
Research has reported the role of green tea polyphenols on hair follicles and dermal papilla cells (found in hair follicles), which dictates the pattern of baldness as well as regulates hair growth (Kwon et al., 2007).
Based on research evidence, some lotion-type treatments are available that contain green tea extract alcohol tincture for hair care/cure applications.
Green tea is well-known for its health benefits. Polyphenolic compounds, particularly catechins, are the most important components of green tea.
We have mentioned the origin of green tea. And also mentioned green tea’s effects on skin and hair.
Hope you find this article helpful and informative. If you have any questions regarding green tea then feel free to ask in the comment box or you can also contact us.