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best way to take green tea

Posted in: Ask the Experts | May 11, 2009

I’m interested in using green tea to lose weight and promote metabolic health. What is the best way to take green tea to get the most benefit?

green tea weight loss A greater interest and awareness in the potential of green tea to promote health and prevent disease is underscored by the increased amount of research money dedicated to understanding the biological effects of the bioactive components of green tea. Collectively these studies show green tea to be associated with a wide range of biological effects that improve health. The bioactive polyphenolic compounds in green tea account for a third of the dry weight of the leaves. The predominant polyphenol are the catechins and include epicatechin, epicatechin-3-gallate, epigallocatechin, and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Most research has focused on EGCG as the predominant active ingredient. In terms of the best way to take green tea, there has been some research that addressed this question. For example, if you drink green tea, there can be a great deal of variability in the content of bioactive compounds including EGCG depending on how the tea leaves were processed prior to drying, the geographic location and growing conditions, the tea type (decaffeinated, instant, etc.), and preparation method (amount used, brew time, temperature). Because of these “unknowns” I think supplements that contain standardized extracts of EGCG are a good option. The effective doses are not known for sure but the studies showing beneficial effects in humans used 270 mg EGCG divided into 3 equal doses of 90 mg at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In fact, one recent study actually showed that supplements were better than tea. The study compared the effects of green tea, black tea, and a green tea extract in pill form that all contained the same amount of the flavanol EGCG. Despite containing the same amount of EGCG, the absorption of total plasma flavanols into the blood after ingestion of the green tea extract supplement was far superior to the liquid teas. The green tea extract also led to higher antioxidant activity in the blood. Another recent study also found that ingesting supplements containing green tea catechins in the fasted state without food led to greater bioavailability compared to ingesting them with food.

-- answer by: Jeff Volek.


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Disclaimer: The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.

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