All Posts tagged Green tea

Green tea helps weight management

The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging reports that three cups of green tea per day may help elderly people with metabolic syndrome lose weight.

Scientists from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) report that green tea consumption was linked to an average loss of 1.2 kg (2.6 lbs) over a 60-day period and a reduction in waist circumference of about 2 cm (0.8 in).

The potential benefits of green tea may be related to the ability of the polyphenols in the beverage to increase thermogenesis or via an alternate mechanism of appetite suppression.

Other benefits of green tea include reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and improving cardiovascular and oral health.

The new study involved elderly people with metabolic syndrome (MetS). MetS refers to a cluster of conditions, including high blood pressure, raised blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist or low HDL (the “good” cholesterol) and increased blood triglycerides—all of which are known to significantly increase the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Forty-five elderly people with MetS were randomly assigned to one of two groups: The first group was required to consume three cups of green tea per day made from 1.0 g sachets, and the other group was instructed not to make changes to their lifestyle.

After 60 days of intervention, the researchers report that the green tea group displayed “statistically significant weight loss” from an average of 71.5 kg (157.6 lbs) at the start of the study to 70.3 kg (154.9 lbs) at the end. No significant changes were observed in the control group.

In addition, both groups displayed significant decreases in BMI and waist circumference, but the decreases were greater in the green tea group, the researchers said.


Update on Caffeine, CLA, & Green tea

An article in the Air Force Times by Allison Pattillo used advise from Andrea Lindsey, senior nutritionist at the military’s Human Performance Resource Center, on caffeine, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and green tea “to separate the helpful from the hype,” as Pattillo put it.

Caffeine, is commonly used as a stimulant and marketing claims say it provides appetite suppression and increased fat burning. Research has shown drinking caffeinated coffee or tea may slightly boost weight loss or prevent weight gain, but they said no evidence suggests increased caffeine consumption will result in significant or permanent weight loss. They recommend taking less than 600 mg a day in pill form, beverages and gum, and note a 12-ounce (tall) regular Starbucks coffee contains about 260 mg of caffeine. They warn that while caffeine is GRAS (generally recognized as safe), doses greater than 600 mg may be unsafe and can cause insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, stomach irritation, nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate, tolerance, habituation and psychological dependence.

CLA may reduce body-fat mass, according to some studies, but they write it has shown only a minimal effect on body weight or body mass index (BMI). CLA can come in pill form and also occurs naturally in foods such as milk, cheese, beef and lamb, and an effective dose comes in the range of 1.8 to 7 g per day for weight loss in obese patients. The most common side effects, they write, are upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea and fatigue.

Green tea contains 2 percent to 4 percent caffeine per cup, which certainly helps its position as a weight-loss product, but it also is known to improve mental clarity and to treat stomach disorders. The flavonoids and polyphenol epigallocatechin gallat (EGCG) also help boost its healthy supplement status. However, Pattillo and Lindsey said the research is mixed and more studies are needed. The combination of green tea and caffeine has shown to decrease BMI and increase weight loss. As a beverage, the dose range is large, from one to 10 cups each day, but they note three cups has 240 mg to 320 mg of the active polyphenols. The side effects here include nausea, vomiting, abdominal bloating, pain and diarrhea; more than five cups per day may cause additional adverse side effects caused by the caffeine, they wrote.


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    Antioxidants: The Benefits of Certain Foods

    As we age our brain suffers damage that causes our mental functions to slow down, lose memory, and our ability to focus weakens. Antioxidants can help reverse this damage. But what is the right combination of nutrients that help prevent memory loss?

    An easy answer is that blueberries are a great food choice to help because they are loaded with antioxidants. Add fresh blueberries to your yogurt at breakfast time.

    In 1999, Dr. Joseph published a landmark study on the subject in the Journal of Neuroscience. His study revealed that blueberries reversed mental aging. Dr. Joseph took four groups of rats and fed them a normal diet. Three of the groups were given strawberry, spinach, or blueberry extracts. Over the course of 18 weeks, he tested the rats for coordination and mental functioning.

    The blueberry group performed best on the coordination tests. This group also showed improved neuron functioning. His research led him to nickname blueberries “brainberries.” He has since released several other studies on the subject.

    Blueberries also function as anti-inflammatory agents to protect brain integrity.

    Blueberries are also rich in phytochemicals. It’s clear that blueberries are good for you. But they can be even better. The trick is to eat them foods rich in fats. At the top of the list are walnuts and avocado. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. That makes blueberries and walnuts a powerful combination. These foods promote youthful flexibility in brain cell membranes.

    “Polyphenols in berries and fatty acids in walnuts fluidize the cell membrane,” says Dr. Joseph. “They make it responsive to a wide array of signals.” This increases the efficiency of those transactions.

    Walnuts also block disease-causing inflammation in our cells. Recent research links inflammation to Alzheimer’s disease, so reducing inflammation is important to promote better mental function. It might even reverse Alzheimer’s disease.

    The Brain Antioxidant I Recommend

     I recommend two products by Metagenics 1)  EPA-DHA 72o – an omega 3 fish oil 2) Celepro – contains green tea extract.

    Otherwise, try a handful of blackberries and mix them with almonds. Wash them down with green tea. All three are packed with antioxidants. Switch it up and go for strawberries and pecans. These are both rich in antioxidants. The best thing is antioxidants don’t just boost brain power. They promote overall good health.


    Apples & cinnamon – try Endefen

    Endefen contributes to the upper GI health and the immune system. Endefen contains arabinogalactan extract which may enhance the body’s response to  pneumonia exposure, according to a new pilot study that supports the immune-boosting properties of the ingredient.

    The arabinogalactan extract is from Larch gum. Other ingredients include green tea, cinnamon, plantain, apple fruit powder.

    Larch arabinogalactan has been found to improve immunoglobulin levels.

    I especially like the flavor – I mix it with warm water and sip it down like tea. It tastes like apples & cinnamon. I mix two tablespoons in about 4 ounces of water. Try it daily for a  few months and let me know what you notice. I suspect you’ll see some GI improvement and it will be interesting to see if you get as many respiratory issues.


    Fat Burning Products

    Are there supplements that can help your body utilise more fat for fuel? The answer is yes. This certainly helps as part of a weight management plan. My job is to help you find the best ‘fat burning’ supplement.

    Taking a fat-burning product without first having in place a properly structured exercise program that includes plenty of aerobic exercise, and a well-balanced eating plan is a complete waste of time. That’s because the effect of even the best of these formulations is relatively small compared to exercise and diet; moreover, some of the commonly used ingredients in these products only exert any (small) effect when combined with exercise. 

    Ingredients that may be useful include:

    • Caffeine (from various sources including guarana). Caffeine doesn’t appear to increase fat burning per se, but it can help to significantly prolong endurance exercise and reduce the perception of effort, encouraging longer workouts, thereby increasing fat oxidation.
    • Conjugated Linoleic acid or CLA for short – a naturally occurring fat for which there is plenty of evidence of fat-burning enhancement;
    • B-vitamins – involved in all aspect of energy metabolism;
    • Citrus Aurantium an extract from oranges;
    • Green Tea extract – research has demonstrated increased 24-hour energy expenditure, but it is unclear if brewed green tea leaves will do anything similar. Research on rodents also suggests improved fat use and endurance but not yet supported in humans. Research is ongoing.

    Ingredients for which evidence is either lacking, very patchy, or which should be avoided for other reasons include:

    • L-carnitine – very popular as L-carnitine is known to help the transport of fatty acids into cells for oxidation. However, numerous large and well controlled studies have found no benefits for taking L-carnitine;
    • Ephedra/Ephedrine – naturally occurring alkaloids found in plants; effective but banned by sporting bodies such as the IOC and with the added risk of potentially fatal side-effects;
    • Hydroxy Citric Acid (HCA) – a small molecule found in low concentrations in some plants, especially fruits; early studies in rodents looked promising, but very little evidence to date of any benefit in humans;
    • Pyruvate – no substantive evidence to support this supplement’s role as a fat loss agent

    I recommend:

    UltraMeal Rice or UltraMeal Whey (Metagenics) shakes – 2 scoops twice daily

    Ultra CLA (Metagenics) – 2 soft gels daily

    Green Tea 600  (Xymogen)- 1-2 capsules daily

    Protein Fusion or UltraMeal Bars are excellent snacks as well. 


    Green Tea Compounds May Boost Eye Health

    This past week I went for an eye exam. My eyesight has gotten to the point where I needed to wear over-the-counter magnifiers all the time while reading & writing, especially with in-door lighting. I figured it was time to get professional help. I always told myself I was going to hold out until I was 50 to get glasses…well I made it to 52 1/2! 

    The antioxidant compounds present in green tea can penetrate the tissue of the eye and potentially protect against common eye diseases.

    Researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong report that catechins from tea could be detected in significant amounts in various eye structures. According to the findings, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the retina of rats absorbed the highest levels of gallocatechin, while the aqueous humor tended to absorb epigallocatechin.

    Furthermore, the potential beneficial effects of green tea catechins in reducing harmful oxidative stress were sustained for up to 20 hours.

    “Although many antioxidants have been studied in the eye, to the best of our knowledge this is the first paper to show distribution of individual catechins after ingestion of green tea extract and to evaluate their in vivo antioxidative effects in various parts of the mammalian eye,” the new study reported.

    Green tea contains between 30% and 40% of water-extractable polyphenols, while black tea (green tea that has been oxidized by fermentation) contains between three percent and ten percent. The four primary polyphenols found in fresh tea leaves are epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate and epicatechin.

    “Many studies on the oxidative effect of green tea focused on EGCG,” the researchers reported. “However, in this study, we found its tissue level was not high. Gallocatechin, epigallocatechin, catechin and epicatechin, on the other hand, sustained high levels in many compartments.

    “Although these compounds have a reducing power similar to or lower than that of EGCG, use of a mixture, such as green tea extract, was better than use of a single catechin because of lower cost and synergic effects on antioxidation and bioavailability,” they added.

    “Our results indicate that green tea consumption could benefit the eye against oxidative stress,” the researchers concluded.

    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 58(3):1523-1534, 2010

    I think one of the reasons my vision has been maintained and is still excellent when I am outside in natural light is because i take supplements with Catechins (green tea extract). I rotate between Green Tea 600  by XYMOGEN and Celepro by Metagenics. Both are great anti-oxidants.


    Benefits of Green Tea

    Green tea has these healthy benefits:
    Green tea has been shown to curb some cancers
    Green tea helps control blood pressure
    Green tea may reduce brain plaques typical of Alzheimer’s patients
    Research shows that EGCG (a catechin) is the component of green tea that makes all those benefits possible.

    Celepro from Metagenics has 300 mg of Green Tea Leaf Extract in each capsule.