You've heard the rumors about oolong tea for weight loss and you've been wondering if this tea could actually help you lose those stubborn extra pounds...
And, with celebrities like Dr. Oz, Oprah, and Rachael Ray talking about oolong tea weight loss properties, you have to wonder - could weight management really be a benefit of this healthy, fragrant tea?
Oolong tea is known in Chinese medicine for decreasing body fat. This recommendation is enough for many tea drinkers and dieters but, for those of you interested in the scientific backup for these weight-loss claims, here is what current oolong tea weight loss research is telling us about this tea.
A 2001 study by American and Japanese researchers about the effectiveness of oolong tea for weight loss involved male participants only. After three days of drinking 300 ml (about 1 1/3 cups) full-strength oolong tea five times per day, participants had significantly increased metabolic rate and fat oxidation. You can read a summary of this research here, or read the full article here.
Another study targeting oolong tea and weight loss compared the effectiveness of oolong tea and green tea in increasing metabolism. This study, which took place in 2003 at The University of Tokushima School of Medicine in Japan, involved 11 female participants.
Results indicated that, while both oolong and green teas improved metabolism, oolong tea was twice as effective as green tea in increasing metabolic rate!
The researchers credited oolong's high polyphenol (antioxidant) levels to the tea's potential to increase metabolism by at least 10 percent. Read more about this study here.
A further study about tea and weight loss found that oolong tea enriched with green tea extract was far more effective for weight loss than oolong tea on its own.
This 2005 Japanese study found that, after 12 weeks of drinking the enriched oolong tea daily, the overweight participants experienced greater weight loss and greater reduction of BMI (body mass index) and weight measurements than the participants who consumed oolong tea without the supplementary green tea extract each day.
The results were attributed to the higher levels of catechins (a type of antioxidant) in the oolong tea/green tea extract mixture.
In 2009, researchers at the School of Traditional Chinese Materia Medicine at Shenyang Pharmaceutical University in China studied the effectiveness of oolong tea for weight loss with 102 severely obese, obese, and overweight female and male participants.
After six weeks of drinking four servings of Chinese oolong tea each day, 70 percent of the severely obese participants lost over 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) body weight, including 22 percent who lost over 3 kg (6.6 lbs.) each.
Sixty-four percent of the obese participants and 66 percent of the overweight participants each lost over 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) body weight during the study. In addition, 12 percent of the participants had reduced body fat content.
If you're interested, read more about this research here.
So, if you're trying to lose some weight, research suggests that oolong tea may be a good addition to your overall weight management plan, along with healthy foods, plenty of rest, and regular activity. Why not have a chat with your healthcare provider about adding oolong tea to your diet plan?
Current research has discovered a few potential health effects of tea you should be aware of. And, check with your healthcare provider before adding high levels of oolong tea - or any tea! - to your diet to help you lose weight (or for any other reason). This is especially important if you are currently taking any prescribed medications or if you're a mom-to-be or a nursing mom.
If you happen to have any sensitivity to caffeine or you're keeping an eye on your caffeine intake, remember that oolong (like all teas from the Camellia sinensis tea plant) does have caffeine. Your body will let you know when you've had enough caffeine. You can also read more about recommended guidelines for caffeine intake here.
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