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New study reveals English breakfast tea boosts metabolism and supports weight loss – but there’s a catch

Pass the cuppa

Olivia Petter
Wednesday 04 October 2017 10:50 BST
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Drinking black tea may promote weight loss and speed up your metabolism, a new study claims.

Published in the European Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that black tea stimulates the production of good bacteria in the gut and changes our energy metabolism in the liver via gut metabolites.

The University of California team gathered their data through a series of experiments conducted on mice.

They cited both black and green tea as being beneficial in promoting weight loss, as both lower the amount of gut bacteria that is typically associated with obesity while increasing the type of bacteria that is credited for creating lean body mass.

Researchers divided the mice into four groups and put them on four different diets:

Low-fat, high-sugar

High-fat, high-sugar

High-fat, high-sugar and green tea extract

High-fat, high-sugar and black tea extract

Their weight loss was measured over a period of four weeks and the scientists found that by the end of the study, the mice who were given black or green tea extract had lost the same amount of weight as the mice that were placed on the low-fat diet.

However, the mice on the black tea extract diet also showed an increase in Pseudobutyrivibrio, a bacterium which specifically targets the metabolism.

Whilst numerous studies have hailed the health benefits of green tea, this new study is one of the first to unveil the benefits of polyphenols found in black tea.

These compounds stimulate the production of short-chain fatty acids in the gut, which the study explains has been proven to boost one’s metabolic rate.

“It was known that green tea polyphenols are more effective and offer more health benefits than black tea polyphenols since green tea chemicals are absorbed into the blood and tissue,” explained Susanne Henning, lead author of the study and a human nutrition professor at UCLA.

“Our new findings suggest that black tea, through a specific mechanism through the gut microbiome, may also contribute to good health and weight loss in humans.

“For black tea lovers, there may be a new reason to keep drinking it,” she concluded.

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