White tea, Green tea, Oolong Tea and Pu-erh Tea have all shown different levels of effectiveness in helping reduce weight. Depending upon the particular tea these weight loss mechanisms range from thermogenesis (metabolism), down regulating appetite, reducing fat and starch/glucose digestion and absorption, and blocking fat creation. Some tea increases the levels of noradrenaline in the body thus increases the uptake of glucose into cells rather than being stored in fact cells. Further below we list the scientific studies with regards to Chinese teas and weight loss.
The Obesity Epidemic
Weigh loss is a big thing these days. Excess weight, especially obesity, becomes a major risk factor in Type II Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, some musculoskeletal issues and infertility.
Ironically, as we gain excess weight it becomes more difficult to manage and control other chronic health conditions. 2 out of every 3 Australians are overweight or obese. 1 in every 4 Australian children are overweight or obese (1).
No Magic Bullet to Weight Loss
It’s easy to see why everyone is looking for a substance or product that will help reduce weight. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet! We cant sit on the couch eating Tim-Tams and watching TV while some amazing product or substance weaves its metabolic magic!
The reason there is no magic bullet is because obesity is a multifaceted condition. Obesity and weight loss depends upon many aspects and everyone has slightly different genetics and metabolic systems.
Different Metabolic Systems and Genetics
We all have metabolic systems that have evolved from ancient times were some people went for many days without food and then had a large feast, others ate food in small portions throughout the day. Our body type is another consideration when trying to lose weight.
There are also some common threads that apply to all of us no matter the genetic and metabolic differences. These common threads are age, sleep, exercise and diet (calories consumed) and time of meals.
Age and Weight Loss
Age plays a part because as we get older our endocrine system slows down hence we are not making the high levels of hormones like insulin that we once did. Insulin transports glucose to muscle cells, brain cells, tissue cells and many other cells for energy – but when glucose is elevated for too long in the blood (because of limited insulin) then this glucose gets stored in fat cells. Testosterone, another hormone, helps build muscle mass and burn fat by up-regulating the metabolic system.
Sleep and Weight Loss
Studies have demonstrated that lack of sleep can also induce weight gain (2). because of the lack in sleep our endocrine system seems to dysfunction. The mechanisms are not clear, Grehlin, the hunger hormone seems to increase when we do not sleep well (3, 4). Eating late at night also increases weight gain as insulin is lower in the evening than during the day hence and free blood glucose will be shunted off into fat cells rather than regular tissue cells.
Diet, Exercise and Calories
The more exercise we do the more calories we burn but exercise also conditions the body to burn fat more efficiently rather than just relying upon free glucose in the blood . The more muscle bulk we have the more calories are burnt by the cells (mitochondria) even when we are sleeping! But not just any exercise! High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise has been found to be the most benificial form of exercise to burn fat and reduce weight (5). And of course diet is not just about calories-in versus calories-out because some foods are better than other foods for our bodies (6). Many studies have shown that white tea, green tea, oolong tea and pu-erh tea help with the weight loss process.
Green Tea, Weight Loss And Obesity
There have been many studies with regards to green teas effect upon weight loss and obesity. The antioxidant (catechins – EGCG) seem to be the prime fat burning agent within green tea however green teas energy expenditure and fat metabolising (burning) effects are increased in the presence of caffeine (7).
Green tea contains caffeine, theophylline and theobromine which all up regulate thermogenesis (helps your body produce more heat) to increase the body’s metabolism – the rate at which your body burns energy (8).
Green tea can also help reduce obesity by reducing fat and starch/glucose digestion and absorption, and blocking fat creation, increasing metabolism (fat burning) as well as reducing inflammation – which is also implicated in obesity (14, 15).
It has also been discovered that the catechins, in Green tea could inhibit the activities of some digestive enzymes (a-glucosidase and invertase) to reduce absorption of glucose and sucrose (16).
Another mechanism of weight loss that green tea provides is its ability to down regulate an enzyme (Catechol-O-methyltransferase) that breaks down norepinephrine (noradrenaline). Noradrenaline is a chemical/hormone that increases fat burning hence maintaining high levels of noradrenaline is another benefit when trying to loss weight (17). Interestingly, decaffeinated green tea extract did not have the same weigh loss effect as decaffeinated green tea hence the synergistic nature of green tea and caffeine should be considered. It did however reduce fasting insulin levels (18).
Added to all these mechanisms green tea can also increase exercise endurance hence a person can exercise longer expending more energy thus burn more fat (19).
Oolong Tea, Weight Loss And Obesity
Like green tea and black tea oolong tea also contains caffeine, theophylline and theobromine which all up regulate thermogenesis (helps your body produce more heat) to increasing the body’s metabolism (the rate at which your body burns energy) (20).
Thearubigins and theaflavins are the most predominate polyphenols in oolong tea. They are not found in green tea and they are different from the Thearubigins and theaflavins found in fully fermented teas. Many studies have shown oolong tea to be effective in reducing weight and fighting obesity by inhibiting glucose or fat absorption.
Studies have shown that the special polyphenols in Ooolong tea reduce the pancreatic enzyme (glycosyltransferase and lipase) thus lipids (fat) stored as fat (21). Another study has shown that oolong tea helps the body burn fat faster (22).
Another study demonstrated that oolong tea consumption can reverse the function of an enzyme called a-amylase thus block the breakdown of carbohydrates, lower blood glucose level and also prevent the transfer of glucose into fats in adipose tissue (24).
Ultimately oolong tea can help reduce obesity by reducing fat and glucose absorption and also block fat creation, increasing metabolism/fat burning as well as reducing inflammation (which is also implicated in obesity) (25, 26, 27).
Pu-Erh Tea, Weight Loss And Obesity
A 2011 randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study of ninety people found that pu-erh tea extract on the regulation of metabolic syndrome successfully reduced obesity, blood lipids, blood glucose, regulating immunity and had anti-oxidant properties (28).
Another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in 2016 analysed 59 overweight or mildly obese subjects. This study evaluated the effects of daily consumption of pu-erh tea extract (PTE) on body weight, body-fat composition, and lipid profile in a non-Asian population in the absence of dietary restrictions. Researchers found that daily consumption of PTE was associated with significant weight loss, reduced body mass index, and an improved lipid profile (29).
Pu-Erh Tea Reduces Bad Cholesterol And Lowers Triglycerides.
In one study in laboratory animals, puer tea was the only kind of tea which could actually raise the level of good (HDL) cholesterol and lower the level of bad (LDL) cholesterol (31). The “mother of California cuisine”, Alice Waters, has stated in a Financial Times interview that puer tea has lowered her cholesterol 100 points. “It was extreme. You have to try some.”
The microbial ageing of pu-erh tea can result in the production of lovastatin, a natural statin. Statins are used medicinally to lower levels of bad cholesterol such as LDL. One study found that the longer pu-erh tea was aged, the more statin was produced (32, 33, 34, 35, 36).
Pu-Erh Tea, Diabetes And Blood Glucose
Pu-erh tea may reduce blood sugar levels significantly and help prevent diabetes.
A two year study by scientists at Jilin University and the Changchun Science and Technology University (China) involved 20 genetically obese lab rats with very high blood sugar levels. They compared pu-erh tea with Rosiglitazone, a widely used medicine to lower blood sugar levels. After two weeks, they found that the rats that were fed Rosiglitazone had 36.5 percent less blood sugar, while the figure was 42 percent for the group that was fed pu-erh tea (37).
Another animal study (mice) showed that a group of carbohydrates found in pu-erh tea polysaccharides was more effective at lowering blood glucose and stabilising diabetes than a leading drug called Acarbose – a microbial carbohydrate and an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor (38).
White Tea And Weight Loss
Oolong, Green, Pu’er teas have all shown different levels of activity with regards to weight loss and white tea has now also been shown to exhibit similar mechanisms with regards to weight loss by modulating lipid (fat) metabolism and improving the functions of digestion.
Pancreatic lipase is secreted from the pancreas, and is the main lipase (enzyme) that breaks down dietary fat molecules in the human digestive system. In a recent study, white tea was found to be more effective than green tea or black tea in the inhibition of pancreatic lipase activity in vitro (in the lab), possibly partly part due to the higher content of strictinin in the white tea (39).
Another study evaluated the effects of white tea on lipolysis (breaking down of fat) and adipogenesis (creation of new fat cells) in human preadipocytes (early stage fat cells). After subjecting preadipocytes to white tea solution it was discovered that the fat cells incorporated less triglyceride (glycerol combined with three fatty acids) as they transformed into mature fat cells (adipogenesis ). In addition to this finding it was also discovered that white tea also stimulated the breakdown of fats (lipolytic activity) within the fat cells (adipocytes) (40).
It has been assumed that the weight loss metabolism-boosting effects of tea are due to the caffeine contents but this doesn’t seem to be the case. While caffeine may play a role there seems to be other mechanisms involved, possibly due to theophylline – cardiac stimulant and theobromine – stimulant properties similar to those of caffeine (41).
White tea actually has less caffeine than the other green tea, oolong, pu’er and black teas however the weight loss benefits still prevail. The catechins (EGCG) and other polyphenols (antioxidants) in white tea may also be involved with regulating fat metabolism via enzymes responsible for hepatic lipid oxidation (42).
Considering that white tea has the lowest levels of caffeine then it may be the best choice for people who want to decrease weight but not increase the workload on the adrenal glands.
(31) Gondoin, A., Grussu, D., Stewart, D., McDougall, G.J., 2010. White and green tea polyphenols inhibit pancreatic lipase in vitro. Food Research International 43, 1537e1544.
(32) So¨ hle, J., Knott, A., Holtzmann, U., Siegner, R., Gro¨ nniger, E., Schepky, A., Gallinat, S., Wenck, H., Sta¨b, F., Winnefeld, M., 2009. White tea extract induces lipolytic activity and inhibits adipogenesis in human subcutaneous
(pre)-adipocytes. Nutr. Metab. (Lond) 1, 20.
(33) Hursel R, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Catechin- and caffeine-rich teas for control of body weight in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Dec;98(6 Suppl):1682S-1693S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.058396.
(34) Rains TM, Agarwal S, Maki KC. Antiobesity effects of green tea catechins: a mechanistic review. J Nutr Biochem. 2011 Jan;22(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2010.06.006.
Golden Ocean Chinese Tea
Specialising in various kinds of Black tea, Green tea, White tea, Yellow tea, Oolong tea, Dark tea, Pu Erh Tea, Scented tea, Flowering tea, Herbal tea and Tea Powder, Tea ware, Tea pots, cups, mugs, Tea canisters, Tea containers. We supply the finest and rarest Chinese teas imported directly from China.
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