Thursday, December 27, 2012

Green Tea Extract: Does it Burn Fat?

Bodybuilders are the biggest target audience, but everyone can be intrigued by the claim: green tea extract helps the body burn fat.

But does it really?

Supporters claim the key compounds in green tea is Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), what the New York Times calls "a potent antioxidant thought of by some as a sort of kryptonite to body fat." Proponents of the extract claim reduces fat gain and enhances fat-burning. 

However, simply drinking green tea won't provide EGCG in high-enough concentration, say extract manufacturers. Hence the need for the extract.

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews published a study this month in the American College of Sports Medicine's Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise

In this study, 31 men were divided into three groups: one given the extract in a dose equivalent to eight cups of green tea a day, one given a placebo, and yet another given lower doses of the green tea extract plus placebos. The men were given similar diets and exercise regimens.

After a week, extensive blood tests revealed little difference between the groups. The conclusion: EGCG did not offer the benefits touted by its fans.

Don't rely on supplements for the the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise. There is no magic bullet or shortcut. 

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