Green Tea May Slow Down Weight Gain and Help Fight Obesity

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Obese mice that were fed a compound found in green tea along with a high-fat diet gained weight significantly slower than mice that did not receive the green tea supplement, says Joshua Lambert, assistant professor of food science.

The researchers, who released their findings in the current online version of Obesity, fed two groups of mice a high-fat diet. Mice that were fed Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a compound found in most green teas, with a high-fat diet gained weight 45 percent slower than the control group of mice eating the same diet without EGCG.

In addition, the mice fed the green tea supplement showed a nearly 30 percent increase in fecal lipids, suggesting that the EGCG was limiting fat absorption, says Lambert.

A person would need to drink 10 cups of green tea each day to match the amount of EGCG used in the study, according to Lambert. However, he said recent studies indicate that just drinking a few cups of green tea may help control weight.

Lambert, who worked with Kimberly Grove and Sudathip Sae-tan, both graduate students in food science, and Mary Kennett, professor of veterinary and biomedical sciences, said that other experiments have shown that lean mice did not gain as much weight when green tea is added to a high fat diet.

The National Institutes of Health supported this work.