Friday, January 8, 2016

Drink Up and Slim Down

I drink tea for the pleasure of it. However, there always seems to be research into the health benefits of it, and I just see that as a plus. Notice I did not say cream on the top. On tea, that would just be gross.

Last year, in my post, Tea and the Exercise Connection, I mentioned two such health bits:

"...a study done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that people drinking five cups of oolong tea each day burned an average of 87 additional calories. Not just while they were drinking their tea, but throughout the day."

Today I came across something in the Journal of Nutrition about a study that followed people who drank five 10 ounce servings of oolong tea for three days. They increased their metabolism by 3% more than people who drank water. This translates to 67 calories per day, or 6-1/2 pounds weight loss in one year.

And this, again, from the same post:

"Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences determined that mice on a high-fat diet that consumed decaffeinated green tea extract and exercised regularly experienced sharp reductions in final body weight and significant improvements in health. After 16 weeks, high-fat-fed mice that exercised regularly and ingested green tea extract showed an average body mass reduction of 27.1 percent and an average abdominal fat mass reduction of 36.6 percent."

Today, again, about another study, this time in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, that researchers found a 4% increased energy expenditure when they gave people green tea extract, instead of caffeine or a placebo. What they believe is that it is the polyphenols in tea, and not the caffeine, that may stimulate metabolism.

This differs slightly from another earlier post, Green Tea and Your Metabolism, that suggested, "...while green tea has about one-third the caffeine as coffee, other metabolically active substances, called catechins, compound the actions of the caffeine. "Caffeine activates metabolic pathways that release stored body fat from your fat cells into your bloodstream," says Paul Arciero, PhD. 

A 2005 study, entitled,  "Ingestion of a tea rich in catechins leads to a reduction in body fat and malondialdehyde-modified LDL in men" concluded that "Daily consumption of tea containing 690 mg catechins for 12 wk reduced body fat, which suggests that the ingestion of catechins might be useful in the prevention and improvement of lifestyle-related diseases, mainly obesity."

Polyphenols, btw, are a type of phytochemical found in plant compounds, like vegetables, fruit, and red wine.  A professor of nutrition at Tufts University, Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg. was quoted as saying that, "Two cups of tea provide as many phytochemicals as one serving of vegetables." Both black and green tea are excellent sources of dietary polyphenols.

Catechins are a type of antioxidant found in the greatest abundance in the leaves of the tea plant Camellia sinensis

So, today, for my daily mug and tea:

I'm sipping an oolong and green with jasmine!

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