Do Green Tea Pills Help You Lose Weight?

Wading through the sea of weight-loss supplements can be challenging. You can spot products with misleading claims everywhere. The truth is, science has yet to discover a magic bullet. Making healthier food choices and getting plenty of physical activity is still the key to managing your weight. However, certain supplements may give your weight-loss efforts a boost. There is evidence to support green tea extract for promoting weight loss. You'll need to develop healthier habits all around, though, to keep it off.

Green tea extract capsules. (Image: BWFolsom/iStock/Getty Images)

Green Tea Constituents

Green tea is reported to have the highest concentration of antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, compared to other types of tea, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Green tea contains a class of polyphenols called catechins, which some researchers believe are responsible for potential weight-loss benefits, according to the UMMC. The most widely studied green tea catechin is epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG.

Weight Loss Promotion

Researchers found that a green tea extract high in catechins decreases body weight, according to a study in the June 2007 issue of the journal "Obesity." They conducted a 12-week study involving Japanese men and women who took green tea containing 583 milligrams of catechins. The green tea extract caused a reduction in body weight, body fat, waist and hip circumference and belly fat. The extract also caused reduction of a bad form of cholesterol called LDL.

Burning Calories

Data suggests green tea extract is particularly beneficial for boosting metabolism during exercise. Research published in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in 2008 found that taking green tea extract prior to exercise significantly boosted fat burning. The green tea extract group studied showed average fat burning rates 17 percent higher than those in the placebo group. In addition, the green tea extract resulted in a 13 percent increase in insulin sensitivity, which is important for weight loss.

Appetite Suppression

Another way green tea extract may promote weight loss is by reducing appetite, according to a review published in the January 2011 issue of "The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry." Researchers reviewed existing evidence and found data showing that participants consumed 8 percent fewer calories after consuming green tea extract versus placebo. However, authors note that more well-designed studies are needed, since some studies have reported mixed results.

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