Catechin- and caffeine-rich teas for control of body weight in humans.

Hursel R, Westerterp-Plantenga MS.
Department of Human Biology, Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht (NUTRIM), Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands.
Maintaining the level of daily energy expenditure during weight loss and weight maintenance is as important as maintaining satiety while decreasing energy intake. In this context, different catechin- and caffeine-rich teas (CCRTs), such as green, oolong, and white teas, as well as caffeine have been proposed as tools for maintaining or enhancing energy expenditure and for increasing fat oxidation.

Tea polyphenols have been proposed to counteract the decrease in metabolic rate that is usually present during weight loss. Their effects may be of particular importance during weight maintenance after weight loss. Although the thermogenic effect of CCRT has the potential to produce significant effects on these metabolic targets as well as on fat absorption and energy intake, possibly via its impact on the gut microbiota and gene expression, a clinically meaningful outcome also depends on compliance by the subjects. Limitations to this approach require further examination, including moderating factors such as genetic predisposition, habitual caffeine intake, and catechin composition and dose. Nevertheless, CCRTs may be useful agents that could help in preventing a positive energy balance and obesity.

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