Is green tea a fat burner? Does it help with weight loss? how much should I drink? which time to drink ?

Green tea has near-zero lipophilicity (“fat-loving”) The “aromatic” compounds he refers to is the “aroma” components, which constitute only tiny amounts in tea and are present in all plants and flowers. The polyphenols in tea, which contain “aromatic” (e.g. a cyclic conjugated system, “arene”) subunits, are almost completely insoluble in fat and non-polar solvents like hexane. One of the most common components of green tea “aroma” is linalool, which is present in all or almost all plants, and by extension, the animals who consume plants.

Tea undergoes precipitation effects at high concentration in water, known as “tea creaming” (see, e.g., as meant in Creaming in black tea) where tea polyphenols, caffeine, divalent cations, and protein combine to precipitate into a lighter color, opaque layer, resembling tea-with-milk in appearance and having a fatty mouthfeel. However, “tea cream” is insoluble in fat and sinks in water, compared with most dietary fats, which float. It is hydrophobic but is NOT lipophilic.

No studies have proven anything more than negligible effects on weight loss. It was rumored, based on pre 20th century observations, that Tannic acid (which is NOT present in tea) tastes similar, and is similarly astringent, to purified polyphenols from tea. Tannic acid and the tannins strongly bind proteins and render them indigestible in some ruminant animals, leading to weight loss. It was therefore suggested (“traditional” wisdom) that you can use tannic acid or tea to lose weight, particularly on high-protein, (coincidentally high-fat,) diets. However, higher evolved animals, including humans, contain proline-rich components in saliva to help mitigate this effect, and extensive research on the mechanism of proline-rich proteins on tea polyphenols and other tannins suggests that at a molecular level, tannins and tea polyphenols can be shown to have different binding and precipitation properties, so any historical association of tea “tannins” and tannic acid can be demonstrated as coincidence based upon belief, and not fact.

“Traditional” knowledge about tea as a medicine should be regarded with the same skepticism and disbelief afforded to homeopathy, Galen’s body “humours”, leech therapy, radium therapy, and other obsolete knowledge or revived quackery.

Tea does NOT “dissolve” fat in the same way that detergents (surfactants) dissolve fats in dishwater. Even if they did, just because dishwater dissolves fat does not make dish detergent a good way to lose belly fat. (do not try this at home!) If you consumed dish detergent, you would likely lose weight as nutrients would be preferentially bound to the detergent and you would lose water weight to diarrhea, and slowly starve. many poisonous substances have the same properties, most notably the heavy metals. (see also: Comprehensive Reviews in Toxicology). You would not consume arsenic, lead, or thallium because those poisons are cachexic and would “reduce belly fat”, and anyone who simply demonstrates weight loss without controlling other dietary factors, or not controlling, in essence “poisoning” the result with heavy metal contamination, have not proven that eating something in combination with regular food leads to healthy weight loss.

You would be surprised, though, at the number of dietary supplements found to contain illegal, potentially poisonous, levels of heavy metals. (see also: Herbal Supplements Often Have Contaminants, Study Finds, Herbal Remedies Found to Contain Toxic Heavy Metals) There is no law that requires safety testing of nutritional supplements, and many Congressional representatives, especially Orrin Hatch (shown above), have actually fought against safety testing. (see also: Hatch a ‘Natural Ally’ of Supplements Industry). A large bulk of supplements produced from green tea are actually manufactured in China (despite many supplements which contain it having a “made in the USA” label, since the capsules are packed in the USA) and import seizures related to adulterated and contaminated tea powder from China are a regular appearance on the FDA website. Until somebody actually dies from a supplement, though, the government has very little power to regulate supplements (see also, FDA safety monitoring), and heavy metal contamination is a dirty little secret of the natural foods industry.

That’s NOT to say that green tea isn’t a healthy addition to a balanced and calorically-limited diet with exercise. It tastes good, and even though the tea plant, like fish, have the ability to concentrate heavy metals found in the water or soil, the amounts in food are typically miniscule and not a concern. However, concentrating tea polyphenols, if done haphazardly, can cause these levels to rise significantly, especially capsules that contain much greater than the 300-600 mg of tea polyphenols normally consumed naturally in freshly-brewed tea. In other words, if someone makes a soluble tea powder to put in capsules using all-natural processes, they can inadvertently concentrate heavy metals, and poison the people who consume the powders, leading to weight loss. So, just because the bottle says “scientifically proven to help weight loss”, doesn’t mean it isn’t weight loss caused by being slowly poisoned.

see also:
If green tea is taken before a glass of warm water with lemon every morning will it help in weight loss?

ConsumerLab Gives Names of Brands that Fail

postscript: it is surprising to me the number of people who will readily consume Ayurvedic supplements, fish, natural food powders, etc., and yet will avoid life-saving vaccines because they might contain Thiomersal, even though the former sometimes contains near-acute levels (and is consumed every day, <8016800micrograms per kilogram of supplements, roughly the amount of supplement consumed in a year) and the latter does not (thiomersal containing vaccines contain approximately 25 micrograms of mercury, many do not, and you get these doses once a year or once a lifetime, rather than daily). You get the same amount of mercury from a flu vaccine, yearly, if it contains thimerosal, as you get from the minimum (…and legal!) amount measured above in supplements and consume them once a day all year. At the highest level measured in actual off-the-shelf supplements, a 60 kg (132 lb) person receives about 1/10000 of a “lethal, poisonous” dose of mercury alone, per capsule.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s