5 Herbal Teas Help with Weight Loss
Herbal teas can be a safe, effective way to help with weight loss. However, you want to be sure you are drinking teas that have been shown scientifically to assist with dropping those extra pounds.
A new study appearing in Clinical Nutrition Research discusses the benefits of two such herbal teas for weight loss. This new report prompted me to look further for more herbal teas that have demonstrated this ability, and so here are 5 herbal teas that can help with weight loss.
Fenugreek tea and fennel tea
The new randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blinded, three-way crossover study evaluated the effects of drinking fenugreek tea, fennel tea, or a placebo tea on subjective appetite in nine healthy, overweight women. After the women consumed a tea, they were provided with a lunch buffet.
This was a three-way crossover study, which means each woman tried each of the teas one time. After each session, the researchers analyzed subjective appetite, hunger, fullness, desire to eat, and prospective food consumption.
Here’s what the investigators found:
- Fenugreek tea reduced hunger, resulted in less prospective food consumption, and increased feelings of fullness when compared with the placebo tea
- Drinking fennel tea also resulted in reduced hunger, less prospective food consumption and greater feelings of fullness when compared with placebo tea
- They concluded that either fenugreek or fennel tea was a “significantly effective aid to suppress subjective appetite among overweight women.”
Numerous studies have looked at the impact of green tea on weight loss and appetite suppression. Generally, the active ingredient in green tea believed to be responsible for this benefit (and others) is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
Exactly how much green tea you should consume to help with weight loss has not been determined. As the authors of a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition noted, “the optimal doses has not yet been established owing to the very different results from studies with a similar design, which may be caused by differences in the extent of obesity, dietary intake, physical activity intensity,” and other factors.
However, research has shown that green tea has an impact on fat metabolism and increasing energy use (calorie burning) via thermogenesis, oxidation of fat, and excretion of lipids in the stool. Despite these findings, the exact mechanisms behind these benefits are unclear.
A May 2015 study in Clinical Nutrition reported that a high dose of green tea extract (856.8 mg daily) consumed by obese women resulted in significant weight loss. The double-blind clinical trial involved 115 women who were randomly assigned to consume either high-dose green tea or placebo daily for 12 weeks.
In addition to the significant weight loss, women in the green tea group also showed a reduction in total cholesterol and bad cholesterol (LDL), as well as a drop in body mass index and waist circumference. According to the authors, the weight loss benefits “might be associated in part with ghrelin secretion inhibition, leading to increased adiponectin levels.”
Translation: Ghrelin is a hormone made by special cells in the stomach and pancreas. It plays a major role in stimulating hunger, therefore inhibiting ghrelin secretion is important in weight loss.
Adiponectin also is a hormone, and one of its major functions is to manage blood sugar and fat lipids. Levels of adiponectin are usually abnormally low in people who are obese, which suggests that normal weight and eating a healthy diet my help boost adiponectin production.
Purple tea is a type of green tea developed in Kenya. This tea contains components found in green tea but also has anthocyanins, polyphenols responsible for the red, purple, and blue colors in fruits and vegetables. They also have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties.
The main components in purple tea are theobromine, EGCG, epigallocatechin (ECG), caffeine, and 1,2-di-O-galloyl-4,6-O-(S)-hexahydroxydiphenoyl-B-D-glucose (GHG). Studies in animals and humans have shown that purple tea can improve weight loss efforts by affecting body weight, body fat mass, and body mass index. The authors concluded that purple tea “could control diet-induced weight gain by suppression of fat absorption and enhancement of hepatic fat metabolism.”
This Chinese herbal tea is a variety of fermented dark tea from the Yunnan province. It has anecdotal reports of its effectiveness as an aid for weight loss, specifically by reducing fat storage. Scientific proof is slowly coming in, although it has been limited to animal studies.
The most recent appeared in PLoS One in which the authors noted that Pu-erh tea down-regulated the expression of the master fat regulator SBP-1 and a key enzyme, which in turn lead to decreased fat storage. Numerous studies have also shown that Pu-erh tea can help with weight loss, including a 2013 experiment in mice in which supplementation with the tea “reduced the body weight gain, and the abdominal and liver fat accumulation.”
Herbal teas can help you in your battle to lose weight. However, they are not a magic bullet. If you use them along with exercise and a sensible dietary plan, they can be a little extra “friend” who assists you with your weight loss program.
Also Read Fenugreek, More Than An Odd Name
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Bae J et al. Fennal (Foeniculum vulgare) and fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) tea drinking suppresses subjective short-term appetite in overweight women. Clinical Nutrition Research 2015 Jul; 4(3): 168-74
Chen IJ et al. Therapeutic effect of high-dose green tea extract on weight reduction: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Clinical Nutrition 2015 May 29
Ding Y et al. Pu-erh tea down-regulates sterol regulatory element-binding protein and stearvol-CoA desaturase to reduce fat storage in Caenorhaditis elegans. PLoS One 2015 Feb 6; 10(2):e
Huang J et al. The anti-obesity effects of green tea in human intervention and basic molecular studies. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2014 Oct; 68(10): 1075-87
Konczak I, Zhang W. Anthocyanins—more than nature’s colours. Journal of Biomedicine & Biotechnology 2004 Dec 1; (5): 239-40
Shimamura Y et al. Pu-erh tea suppresses die-induced body fat accumulation in C57BL/6J ice by down-regulating SREBP-1c and related molecules. Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry 2013; 77(7): 1455-60
Shimoda H et al. Purple tea and its extract suppress diet-induced fat accumulation in mice and human subjects by inhibiting fat absorption and enhancing hepatic carnitine palmitoyltransferase expression. International Journal of Biomedical Science 2015 Jun; 11(2): 67-75