The benefits of green tea are quite well known and are due to compounds such as polyphenols. However, many of these compounds from green tea are quite poorly absorbed.
A new study from the April 14, 2014 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition demonstrates the importance of using the right product to get the best results. The study failed to show any weight loss benefit with the intake of a green tea extract rich in polyphenols, probably due to poor absorption. Unfortunately, results from the clinical studies have been quite inconsistent, until now.
One way to improve the absorption of green tea’s valuable compounds is by making a “phytosome”, which is where plant compounds are complexed directly with phosphatidylcholine, the chief ingredient of lecithin. In green tea phytosome, a decaffeinated green tea extract standardized for polyphenols is complexed to phosphatidylcholine. The result is that absorption of the polyphenols in a phytosome is at least 3-5 times greater than other green tea products. Better absorption means better results.
The superiority of the phytosome form of green tea was shown clinically in a double-blind study in weight loss published in the June 2009 issue of the Alternative Medicine Review. The study was conducted at three medical centers in Italy and involved one hundred overweight subjects, half received the green tea phytosome (150 mg twice daily) and the other half received a placebo. Both groups were placed on reduced-calorie diets (approximately 1,850 calories/day for men and 1,350 calories/day for women).
After ninety days on the reduced-calorie diet, the average weight loss in the control group was 9.9 pounds. In contrast, the group taking the green tea phytosome lost on average a whopping 30.1 pounds—more than triple the weight loss of a person in the control group. There was a 10 percent reduction in the green tea phytosome group’s belly fat compared with a 5 percent reduction in the control group. Male participants did even better in this category, showing a 14 percent reduction in waist circumference compared with a 7 percent reduction in the control group.
The significance of this study is obvious: while people can lose considerable weight (9.9 pounds) by eating fewer calories, the addition of green tea phytosome can triple the weight loss (to 30.1 pounds).
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