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Is green tea effective for weight control?

Green tea and health

There has been quite some publicity recently in the media regarding the potential harmful effects of green tea supplements, such as this: http://bc.ctvnews.ca/health-warning-issued-about-risks-of-green-tea-supplements-1.3346467

Surprise? Not really. It is like giving someone a fishing sinker to swallow because he/she has anaemia. It does more harm than good.

Green tea health benefits can be seen as an extension of Chinese herbal medicine. The research of western science into its health benefits started a few decades ago – when it was realised that the infectious diseases as the main killer of our population were largely under control, but lifestyle related conditions such as obesity, cancers, cardio-vascular diseases and diabetes started affecting not only people’s life quantity but also quality. The surgery knifes and tablets were not all effective in providing much needed answers.

Researches and the interpretation of the results

The research findings, initially based on the lifestyles and health outcomes of people living in certain countries such as China and Japan, were as expected and exciting: green tea consumption is effective in preventing most of these lifestyle related conditions including obesity.

When opportunities presented as such, many merchants jumped on the wagon with the awareness of:

  1. People are desperate to improve their lifestyle related conditions, especially obesity in our society.
  2. Categorised as a beverage but not pharmaceutical, the regulation on green tea supplements are not anywhere as strict. Without backing up by evidence based science (be careful to distinguish between green tea and green tea supplements here!), many supplements of high concentration of catechins have appeared on the market, based on the assumption that ‘if it is good, the more the better’.

Chinese herbal medicine and its reflection on green tea's health benefits

To understand the differences between these supplements and the health benefits of green tea in its natural state, we have to understand a bit about traditional Chinese medicine. Chinese herbal medicine is an experimental science. It is a result of thousands of years of Chinese herbalists tasting, testing and experimenting with thousands of herbs, their combinations and effects on various stages of heath conditions. Anyone with experience with a Chinese herbalist (a professionally trained one), would know that the herbalist would assess the state of the health condition regularly and prescribe classically a group of herbs (5-10) at a time. They also adjust the weight of each herb, and the combination for each prescription. The theory is that the bio-medically active ingredients from these herbs work as big compounds within certain environment to produce their desired effects.

An example of this is that there has been a recent research project conducted by one of the leading universities in China attempting to isolate the ‘active compounds’ of Pu-erh tea. The started from the whole leaves and gradually break down to smaller and smaller components. What they discovered was that the studied health benefits were demolishing with these ‘breaking up’ until they disappeared completely.

Green tea's health benefits

What do we know about green teas’ health benefits so far, especially regarding weight management:

  1. Green tea contains high levels of anti-oxidants with many health benefits towards various modern lifestyle related health conditions.
  2. Most of the research results point to green tea catechins in combination with caffeine are effective in weight control through regulating body metabolism rate and fat oxidisation.
  3. The above effect is reduced among habitual caffeine consumers.
  4. Green tea is also beneficial during the weight maintaining stage after weight loss through counteracting the decrease in metabolic rate that occurs during weight loss.
  5. The effect is moderate and should be combined with active lifestyle and healthy diet to achieve a sustainable and optimal result.
  6. It is difficult to drink too much green tea. It is however certainly possible to overdose with green tea supplements.

For more research reports on green tea’s health benefits, please visit: Research findings about tea and weight control

Conclusion:

Green tea is a gift from the mother nature. It is a luscious beverage to be enjoyed first and the health benefits are by-products. We are all aware that swallowing pills and going under the surgery knifes are not the solution to our ‘lifestyle related health conditions’, but living a healthy lifestyle will, including enjoying your daily cup of premium tea.

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If exercise is not the answer to weight loss, what is it?

Exercise is not the answer to weight loss?

weight loss and lifestyleIf exercise is not the answer to weight loss, what is it? Weight management is a matter of concern for many in our society, 63% precisely according to Sydney Morning Herald (http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/fitness/why-is-exercise-useless-for-weight-loss-20170223-gujmzc.html). At the same time, the article claimed that ‘exercise is useless for weight loss’. Surprise to anyone? Well, we have seen so many who have lost it and put back more after.

So if this simple primary school math, we burn more than we eat, doesn’t work, anything else does? It does not take much to come up with a list of ‘quick fixes’ that have marketed as cure (including exercise), but rarely work: diet, supplements, and many more peculiar ones.

Obesity is a lifestyle condition

Obesity is classified as a ‘lifestyle condition’ in public health, together with many other conditions such as cancers, cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes and arthritis just to name a few. If the conditions are caused by our modern lifestyle, it is not hard to imagine that the answers should lay at fixing the cause - lifestyle.

The solution

Fortunately we do not need to look too far. Our ancestors a couple of generations ahead of us had a significantly different lifestyle: no cars, everything was by foot, or bikes or horses if lucky; No fridges. All foods were from the markets or own fields straight to the kitchen (Walked to the market too!); Meat was only consumed on only limited and special occasions; Their diet was mainly freshly produced foods – raw and unprocessed. Ice cream or chips were certainly not part of the daily menu; Water, tea, maybe coffee were the beverages, no coca cola or red bull. The end results? They were actually healthier, both physically and mentally. (The main killers of their time were infections, but not the contemporary men made lifestyle conditions.)

Don’t get me wrong though, I am not here to suggest that we should all get rid of our cars and fridges and bring back the old farmers’ markets so that we can lose weight. I am simply suggesting there is a lot we can learn from our ancestors with regard to a healthy lifestyle: outdoor, active, diet, mentality, habits and so on. With some reflection and discipline, maybe we can use the modern facilities to our advantage when dealing with this seemly impossible chellanges of our era.

Remember, obesity is a lifestyle related condition. Unless we make some effort to change our lifestyle, it is here to stay.

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Green tea keeps weight down - latest science report!

green teaWeight management is an uphill battle for many and green tea has been for quite some time in the talk.

Green tea keeps weight down?

Does green tea actually produce tangible results? How does it work?

Here is recent report from the School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM), Maastricht University, the Netherlands: Nutraceuticals for body-weight management: The role of green tea catechins. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26836279)

Many researches have reported in the past that green tea consumption increases the energy expenditure of human body by elevating metabolism rate. This latest report have raised a very interesting prospect that green tea catechins (the main active compounds for the it’s many health benefits) also seems to have the capacity to counteract the decreased metabolism rate during the weight loss, which is a natural reaction of human body to maintain its established balance.

As we understand, weight gain or loss appears to be a simple equation: you intake more than you burn - you gain weight, and vice versa. The actual human biology is far more complicated. Where we are today is a body balance that has been established during our life time, regulated by our body biology and life style habits. Big or small, our bodies have a tendency to fight to maintain its current state. This can be a major obstacle for those trying to tip the balance and shift it to a lower point. This reported green tea’s potential to counter this ‘body fight back’ will put a smile on those faces who are struggling to hang on to their hard earned achievement.

Be aware some counter factors

The articles also mentions two factors that have already been previously reported elsewhere to have impact on the green tea’s effect on weight:

  1. It is in the green tea natural state – coexistence of catechins and caffeine for green tea to be effective for weight reduction. (Green tea contains about ¼ of caffeine to equivalent amount of coffee.)
  2. Ingestion of green tea with milk (dietary protein) will reduce its effect.

The good news

There have been many recent researches conducted to study the effectiveness of green tea on weight loss: different compounds, different mechanisms, in the laboratory and in clinical trials. What excites me is that this very ancient Chinese beverage has demonstrated from almost every single study and aspect to have such profound health benefits including weight loss, not by starvation or unnatural work outs, but by just sipping away a luscious cup of tea. Your next challenge may be to look for a good one.

To purchase exclusive quality green teas, please visit: Premium Loose Green Tea

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