In our current fast-paced society, we are constantly looking for shortcuts. Instead of using the tried-and-true methods of diet and exercise to lose weight, many are now turning to supplements to expedite this process. One of the supplements that people use to try to change their physique or improve their health is green tea or green tea extract. Touted for their “natural benefits,” green tea supplements are thought to have a thermogenic effect, increasing the amount of energy spent to maintain regular life. Supposedly this effect is due to levels of caffeine and catechin, antioxidants thought to help promote weight loss.
In a systematic review and meta-analysis published in Aula Medica, scientists revealed a statistically insignificant difference between the green tea subject group and the control group in both weight loss and body fat percentage. The lack of significant decrease in BMI or hip and waist circumferences also indicates no change in risk factors for various chronic diseases, such as diabetes or heart disease, caused by having a higher body fat percentage.
In another meta-analysis published in the Canadian Pharmacists Journal, Jurgens et al. analyzed several studies that showed a statistically insignificant mean difference in weight loss due to the addition of green tea supplements. Since the amount of weight loss is not sufficient to reduce cardiovascular risk factors, the benefits of green tea are unlikely to be clinically relevant.
Green tea is delicious, and the antioxidants can still be beneficial to one’s overall bodily health. However, it seems as though green tea weight loss supplements simply do not work. Perhaps one day, there will be a magical pill that can help us drop 20 pounds with minimal work. However, for now, to prevent chronic diseases caused by excessive fat, proper diet and exercise seem to be the safest, most reliable ways to lose weight.
Feature Image Source: JD