When you're eager to lose weight, it's tempting to try anything that promises results. But those are often empty promises from marketers who want to sell a product. China Slim Tea is meant to be used as a short-term laxative, and any weight loss you may experience is not fat loss.
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China Slim Tea will not help you lose weight.
Tea for Weight Loss?
When you saw the bright green label boasting the product name China Slim Tea Dieter's Delight, you were likely intrigued. Can a tea really help you lose weight?
The answer is no, it can't.
Some research has shown that green tea extract — a very concentrated form of the tea — may have an effect on fat metabolism, but the mechanism is not well understood, and evidence from human trials is scarce, according to a research review published in Advances in Nutrition in March 2013.
The only ingredient in China Slim Tea is senna. Senna is an herb, the leaves and fruit of which are used medicinally. Its main use is as a laxative, and it is approved by the FDA for over-the-counter use for that purpose. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, senna is effective for short-term treatment of constipation. Senna is also sometimes used to cleanse the bowels before a colonoscopy.
Senna has not been proven effective for any other uses, including treatment of hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, anal fissures or weight loss.
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Fat Loss
Laxatives and Weight Loss
Some people think that laxatives aid weight loss by reducing or preventing the body from absorbing calories from food. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, people who binge eat may use laxatives after a binge to help push out food before the calories can be absorbed.
In reality, laxatives do no such thing. They can't prevent absorption of calories. However, they may cause increased fluid loss, according to Barnard College. This can make you temporarily weigh less on the scale, but it is only water weight loss, not fat loss. As soon as you replace those fluids, your weight will go back up.
Dangers of Senna
Long-term laxative use can have serious effects on your health. Laxatives can interfere with the absorption of nutrients, including electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. This can contribute to heart function disorders, muscle weakness, liver damage and other problems, reports Columbia University's Go Ask Alice!
Regular use of laxatives, including the senna in China Slim Tea, can cause severe damage to the digestive tract by weakening the intestinal muscles that contract to push food through the intestines. If users cease taking the laxative, they may have trouble having a bowel movement and become bloated and constipated. In turn, many users resort to using laxatives again, which creates laxative dependence.
Long-term use of senna has also been linked to liver damage. The U.S. National Library of Medicine warns that you should not exceed the recommended dose or use senna for more than two weeks. It also says that you should not use senna if you have abdominal pain or diarrhea and that pregnant or nursing women should be sure to check with their doctor before using senna.
Read more: 10 of the Most Common Weight-Loss Mistakes
Losing Weight Safely
Don't rely on pills, powders or teas promising quick weight loss. Anything that seems too good to be true typically is, and some of these quick fixes can be dangerous.
The truth is that weight loss isn't easy. It takes a commitment to eating a healthy, calorie-controlled diet and exercising regularly. No matter what a box of tea or a bottle of pills tells you, diet and exercise are the only proven effective ways to lose weight and keep it off.
Rather than focusing on finding a magic potion or pill — or tea — that will help you slim down, concentrate on reducing your calorie intake from processed foods, fast foods and junk foods and increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. In addition, incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine, aiming for 30 to 60 minutes of exercise on most days of the week.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Senna"
- Columbia University: Go Ask Alice! "Diet Teas ... or Diet Tease?"
- Advances in Nutrition: "The Effect of Green Tea Extract on Fat Oxidation at Rest and During Exercise: Evidence of Efficacy and Proposed Mechanisms"
- National Eating Disorders Association: "Laxative Abuse"
- Barnard College: "The Facts About Laxatives"