Visceral fat is dangerous because it encases vital organs in the middle of the body, and risks associated with fat include heart attacks and strokes.
The human body can store a surprising amount of fat, but not all of it is always visible to the naked eye. Visceral fat adheres to organs, making it a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Diet offers the best anti-fat countermeasure, with one drink in particular showing promise.
Increasing evidence indicates that oolong tea significantly reduces visceral fat.
In one randomized controlled trial, researchers assigned a daily drink containing 609.3 mg of catechin – the main nutrient in oolong – to participants over a 12-week period.
The researchers measured abdominal fat area and body weight and composition at week 0, week 8 and week 12 of the study.
The results revealed that catechin-dense beverages significantly reduced the average area of visceral fat, as well as body fat.
The researchers concluded that: “Consumption of a green tea drink enriched with antioxidants for 12 weeks caused visceral fat loss in Chinese adults with a high percentage of abdominal visceral fat.”
These results were replicated in a similar study that showed that drinking 300ml of oolong tea four times a day can help people lose one kilogram of fat in six weeks.
The researchers suggested that the tea did this by improving the body’s fat metabolism.
In fact, oolong tea has been shown to increase metabolic rates by 2.9% compared to water. This equates to burning approximately 281 calories per day, on average.
He cites another study published in the journal Nutrients, which suggested that oolong tea can “burn fat while you sleep.”
Study lead author Professor Kombe Tokuyama said: ‘Like all teas, oolong contains caffeine, which affects energy metabolism by increasing our heart rates. However, studies suggest that tea consumption may also increase the breakdown of fats. Regardless of the effects of caffeine, we wanted to study the effects of consuming oolong versus caffeine alone on energy and lipid metabolism among a group of healthy volunteers.”
The study showed that oolong tea boosted fat breakdown by about 20% compared to participants in the control group.
To achieve these effects, subjects had to drink two cups of tea per day. Interestingly, the weight loss effects persisted while the participants slept.
Commenting on the findings, Tim Bond, of the Tea Advisory Committee, said: “Oolong tea has been shown to help increase fat expenditure and burning. Studies have shown a loss of about three kilograms in 12 weeks, but these are often semi-controlled studies where people have Some supervision.
More studies are needed to determine the long-term effectiveness of oolong tea as an adjunct to lowering visceral fat.