In recent years, much information has come out revealing green tea as an “all-purpose” health elixir. Experts say that it burns fat and helps prevent a variety of illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer.
With today’s convenience mindset, people are drawn to the green tea fat burner pills to help them lose weight. In fact, in 2015, around $140 million was spent on these types of supplements.
Additionally, green tea – which is made by steeping tea leaves or mixing green tea powder in hot water – is the second-most popular beverage in the world.
However, is there really any scientific evidence that supports the connection between green tea and weight loss or overall health? Let’s find out.
Does Green Tea Really Help with Weight Loss?
First of all, you should know that green tea does increase your metabolic rate, which means that you will burn more calories. According to the experts, this is most likely due to the combination of catechins and caffeine. Still, the effect doesn’t really lead to much (if any) change on the scale. Many people seem to believe that simply drinking a few cups of green tea per day will make fat melt away – this is not going to happen.
Even in larger doses, you will have very little weight loss. One 2016 study looked at overweight women who were given a dose of 1,350 milligrams of green tea extract supplements or a placebo for 3 months. The women who were taking the placebo actually lost an average of 4.4 pounds while the women taking the green tea lost an average of 2.4.
In a 2017 study, a group of postmenopausal women who were part of a breast cancer trial were given green tea supplements twice a day for a year. They ended up with elevated liver enzymes, which is an indication of liver damage typically seen in individuals who abuse alcohol.
Even so, when it comes to losing weight, it’s not really a bad idea to work a few cups of green tea into your daily diet. In fact, it may give you a little boost (much like coffee) and if you don’t add sugar or cream, it’s calorie free. Therefore, drinking it instead of sugary drinks does actually help cut calories. Experts warn though, you shouldn’t guzzle gallons of it. Due to the fact that catechins vary from one cup to the next, it’s not clear how much green tea is safe – but a few cups should be just fine.
Green Tea and Cancer Prevention
According to the experts, catechins also contribute to the cancer-fighting potential of green tea. Catechins are antioxidants that block free radicals that can cause some malformations in healthy cells that lead to cancer. However, there’s no solid proof that green tea can prevent cancer in humans, though results have been promising in animals and test tubes.
In 2009, a review was published of 51 studies including over 1.6 million participants. The studies each looked at whether or not green tea was effective for the prevention of developing certain types of cancer. The results of each study did not agree – so experts do not feel the benefits outweigh the risks enough to protect against cancer.
Green Tea and Heart Disease Prevention
Some research indicates that perhaps green tea is effective for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. One study revealed that those who consumed 5 or more cups of green tea every day saw a 26% decrease in their risk of cardiovascular disease as compared to those who only had one cup a day. Another study looked at women who drank 1-6 cups of green tea per day reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease when compared to those who didn’t drink any.
How does green tea protect your heart? According to the experts, it could decrease high blood pressure and cholesterol, which are critical factors when it comes to cardiovascular disease.
Researchers say that while there’s nothing wrong with drinking green tea, it’s not a miracle cure. The only way you’ll truly reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer – and lose weight – is to eat a healthy diet that includes whole grains and plenty of fruits and veggies. In addition, you should avoid smoking and exercise regularly. Green tea will not offer redemption for your bad habits, and you definitely can’t depend on it entirely for good health.