Just read that Victoria Beckham attributes her slim figure to “Infusiam Tea” which is a type of green tea. In fact, it seems to be oolong tea. According to the manufacturers Twitter page Victoria Beckham does drink Infusiam Tea.
So, does green tea really help with weight loss? This is one of those areas where the scientific community has not yet made any concrete conclusions. Yes, there are studies that have shown an increase in fat burning amongst people that consume a lot of green tea. However, often people that drink a lot of green tea are healthier and more active in general.
What is important if you are trying to lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight, is to follow a healthy and well balanced diet. Oolong / green tea can help with fat management to some extent, but it is not a magical cure for obesity. You have to still exercise and diet to keep the fat down.
Science in Support of Green Tea for Weight Loss
There are a number of scientific publications that support the theory that green tea does indeed aid weight loss. Here is a summary of articles:
Anti-Obesity Action of Oolong Tea – Japanese Study
“Anti-obesity action of oolong tea” International journal of obesity, 1999, vol. 23, no1, pp. 98-105 (30 ref.)
It was demonstrated that the anti-obesity effects of oolong tea in high-fat diet-treated mice might be due partly to the enhancing effect of caffeine isolated from oolong tea on noradrenaline-induced lipolysis in adipose tissue, and to the inhibitory action of some other substance in oolong tea on pancreatic lipase activity. Caffeine was found to enhance lipolysis through acting on lipid droplets but not on HSL. The results suggest that oolong tea may be an effective crude drug for the treatment of obesity and fatty liver caused by a high-fat diet.
This study basically concluded that in mice oolong tea did reduce fat, however, they could not be sure which of the substances in the tea is responsible. Caffeine could be an important trigger. Although green tea contains less caffeine that coffee, people do tend to drink more of it.
Oolong Tea Increases Metabolic Rate and Fat Oxidation in Men
“Oolong Tea Increases Metabolic Rate and Fat Oxidation in Men” 2001 The American Society for Nutritional Sciences J. Nutr. 131:2848-2852, November 2001
Joint study between American and Japanese researchers which examined the Chinese belief that oolong tea is effective at controlling weight. The study did show that people that drank strong oolong tea burnt more fat;
fat oxidation was significantly higher (12%) whensubjects consumed the full-strength tea rather than water.
Oolong tea increases energy metabolism in Japanese females
“Oolong tea increases energy metabolism in Japanese females” J. Med. Invest. 50 : 170-175, 2003
Another Japanese study that looks specifically at the fat distribution and accumulation in Japanese women that drink oolong tea. Young women (20-21 years old) were given either water, oolong tea or green tea. All had a healthy BMI.
Energy Expediture at 60 and 90 minutes were significantly higher after the consumption of oolong tea than that of water (P<0.05). In comparison with green tea, oolong tea contained approximately half the caffeine andepigallocatechin galate, while polymerized polyphenols were double. These results suggest that oolong tea increases EE by its polymerized polyphenols.
This is possibly the most interesting study, as it really suggests that it is not the role of caffeine, but polyphenols, that gives oolong tea its fat burning properties.
In the study oolong tea was prepared using 15g tea bags brewed in 300ml of boiled water for 5 minutes. The green tea was prepared using 5g of powdered green tea and dissolved in 300ml of boild water. Tea was drunk at body temperature, 37 degrees centigrade.
The reason for the specific brewing methods was to control the scientific process, it does not mean that it is the best way to brew the tea for pleasurable drinking, although all subjects in the study were happy with the way it tasted.
Does Posh Spice Drink Oolong Tea
This whole study of the research available on green and oolong tea started after we saw a headline that Victoria Beckham drinks oolong tea. However, so far we have only managed to determine that science does confirm that oolong tea (and not so much green tea) has a fat burning property.
It does not really matter either way whether or not Posh Spice drinks the tea to keep her very slim figure. What is important is to remember that to lose weight an maintain a healthy weight you need to adopt a well balanced lifestyle, for life.
Photo by LGEPR