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Green Tea Antioxidants May Combat Obesity

While diet and regular aerobic exercise are the best ways to manage weight, a recent study suggests that catechin enriched green tea could encourage weight loss in obese adults. Catechins are powerful antioxidants found naturally in green tea.

The researchers are based at Peking University, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and Japan's Kao Corporation. Their findings were published online ahead of print on January 20, 2012, in the Journal of Functional Foods.

Study participants included 118 obese Chinese adults. Half consumed a placebo drink and half consumed an enriched 350 mg green tea beverage consisting of 609.3 mg catechins and 68.7 mg caffeine. Typically, a glass of green tea contains 86 mg of catechins and 40 mg caffeine.

The researchers measured abdominal fat area, body weight and composition at the onset of the study, at week 8 and at week 12. At the end of 12 weeks, the researchers noted reductions in measurement of all three areas in the participants who consumed the enriched green tea, when compared with those in the placebo group.

The researchers believe that the results seen here are a result of the antioxidant properties of the catechins working in tandem with the caffeine.

Catechins have been linked to other health benefits including lower cholesterol, weight loss, improved heart health, aiding in digestion and decreased risk of neurodegenerative diseases. They can also be found in red wine, apples, and berries.

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