The human body can store a surprising amount of fat, but not all of it is always visible to the naked eye. Visceral fat sticks to the organs, making it a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Diet offers the best countermeasure against fat, with one drink in particular showing promise.
Mounting evidence suggests that oolong tea significantly reduces visceral fat.
In one randomised trial, researchers assigned a daily beverage containing 609.3mg of catechin – the key nutrient in oolong – to participants over a 12-week period.
Researchers measured abdominal fat area, body weight and composition at week zero, week eight and week 12 of the study.
Findings revealed that catechin-dense beverages significantly reduced average visceral fat area, as well as body fat.
The researchers concluded: “Consumption of the catechin-enriched green tea beverage for 12 weeks induced visceral fat loss in Chinese adults with a high proportion of abdominal visceral fat.”
These findings were echoed in a similar study that demonstrated drinking 300 millilitres of oolong tea four times a day could help people lose one kilogram of fat in six weeks.
Researchers suggested the tea did this by improving the metabolism of fat in the body.
In fact, it has been shown that oolong tea can increase metabolic rates by 2.9 percent compared to water.
This equates to burning roughly 281 calories per day, on average.
The Beet cites another study published in the journal Nutrients, that suggested Oolong tea could “torches fat while you sleep”.
The senior author of the study, Professor Kumpei Tokuyama, said: “Like all teas, oolong contains caffeine, which impacts energy metabolism by increasing our heart rates.
“However, studies suggest that tea consumption may also increase the breakdown of fat, independent of the effects of caffeine.
“We wanted to examine the effects of oolong consumption versus caffeine alone on energy and fat metabolism among a group of healthy volunteers.”
The study demonstrated that oolong tea boosted fat breakdown by about 20 percent when compared to control participants.
To achieve these effects, subjects had to consume two cups of tea per day.
Interestingly, the weight loss effects continued as the participants slept.
Commenting on the results, Tim Bond, of the Tea Advisory Panel, said: “Oolong tea has been shown to help increase fat expenditure and fat burning.
“Studies have shown around three kilograms of weight loss in 12 weeks, but these are often semi-controlled studies where people have some supervision.”
More studies are needed to determine the long-term efficacy of Oolong tea as a visceral fat reduction aid.