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How Green Tea Can Help Fight Obesity

Obesity is a massive issue in many countries, including Singapore. Based on the 2019/2020 National Population Health Survey, the prevalence of obesity was 10.5% among Singapore residents aged 18 to 74.

Obesity is a considerable health risk. It is said to increase the risk of several health issues, including deadly diseases such as diabetes, different types of cardiovascular diseases, and some cancers.

Several studies indicate that regular consumption of Japanese Green tea can help obesity. Let's jump into some of the results of the research done.

This article was last modified December 11th, 2022. by Yuki

Suppressing Fat Accumulation and Body Weight Increase

An experiment done on mice in 2000 concluded that including green tea powder in the diet suppressed fatty accumulation and body weight increase. [1]

In this experiment, scientists gave mice diets containing 1, 2, and 4% green tea powder for 16 weeks. Especially the mice given 2% and 4% green tea powder in their diets showed significant effects of weight loss.

The anti-obesity effects are due to the combination of Catechin and Caffeine. [3] It's important to understand that Catechin and Caffeine have a synergistic effect in reducing obesity, and this combination naturally occurs in Japanese green tea.

There are also positive results from human-based research.

An experiment published in 2012 observed the results of green tea intake for 12 weeks. It decreased body weight, BMI, Body fat ratio, body fat mass, waist circumference, hip circumference, total fat area, visceral fat area, and subcutaneous fat area.

Notably, drinking 583 mg of catechins daily for the period resulted in an average of -16 square cm of total fat area. (This includes -10.3 square cm of Visceral fat area and -5.7 square cm of Subcutaneous fat area)

As you can see, different research results show the effectiveness of Green tea for weight loss.

How does Green Tea Help Reduce Obesity?

The mechanisms of how green tea helps reduce obesity are also well-researched.
The green tea catechins in green tea suppress fat accumulation in the liver. It promotes the breakdown of fats in the liver as well.

A study concluded that the combination of catechins and Caffeine inhibited lipid synthesis, which is the creation of fat, and improved lipid metabolism, which is the breaking down of fats.

Of course, when it comes to obesity, revising the overall lifestyle is essential. But these researches suggest that drinking Japanese green tea can also help to improve obesity.

Catechins, the Astringency Component in Japanese Green Tea

Catechins make up the astringency in green tea.

Although astringency is often lumped together with bitterness, these are two slightly different things caused by different nutrients in the tea. The bitterness comes from the tea's Caffeine rather than the catechins.

Rather than being a taste or a flavor, astringency is more of a feeling in the mouth. You feel the dry sensation on the tongue when you feel astringency. It gives it a pulling sensation on the tongue and, with the right amount of astringency, adds depth and substance to make the tea enjoyable.

When you feel the dry pulling sensation on your tongue, you can be assured you're absorbing tea catechins and their health benefits.

Japanese green tea has some of the highest levels of Catechins, so it's a great place to go for weight loss.

High-grade tea such as Matcha and Gyokuro will have lower amounts of Catechins. Instead, go for teas such as Tamaryokucha or Sencha to maximize Catechin intake.

They naturally contain Caffeine, which also has the synergetic effect of reducing weight.

Funmatsu-Ryokucha is also an option if you're looking for weight loss. Funmatsu-Ryokucha is the same as Sencha, just that it is ground into a powder form like a Matcha.
Since this is dissolved into water and taken directly, it can be one of the most efficient ways of absorbing tea's nutrients.

This type of tea, however, is very astringent. You need to enjoy the tea to continue it as a habit. So regular Sencha or Tamaryokucha may be a more realistic way of incorporating Catechins into your everyday life.

Preparation to Maximize Catechin

The preparation of the tea also matters.

Not all types of tea Catechins dissolve in cold water. EGCG, the most prominent Catechin in Japanese green tea, dissolves in water of 80 degrees Celsius and above.

To maximize the intake of Catechins from loose-leaf tea, you can seep the tea in boiling water. The hotter the tea, the more astringent it will become, so remember to reduce the temperature if you feel it is too astringent.

More than anything, continuing as a daily habit is the most important.

Author Yuki


Yuki is the Editor-in-Chief AND Community Manager at Tealife. He bleeds Japanese Tea and loves being a part of the Japanese Tea journey of others. Writes, does events, conducts tasting sessions, drinks, drinks and drinks tea! Easily accessible - hit him up on whatsapp (+65) 85882980.


[1] Sayama K, Lin S, Zheng G, Oguni I. Effects of green tea on growth, food utilization and lipid metabolism in mice. In Vivo. 2000 Jul-Aug;14(4):481-4. PMID: 10945161.

[2] Zheng G, Sayama K, Okubo T, Juneja LR, Oguni I. Anti-obesity effects of three major components of green tea, catechins, Caffeine and theanine, in mice. In Vivo. 2004 Jan-Feb;18(1):55-62. PMID: 15011752.

[3] Sugiura C, Nishimatsu S, Moriyama T, Ozasa S, Kawada T, Sayama K. Catechins and Caffeine Inhibit Fat Accumulation in Mice through the Improvement of Hepatic Lipid Metabolism. J Obes. 2012;2012:520510. doi: 10.1155/2012/520510. Epub 2012 Apr 19. PMID: 22900152; PMCID: PMC3415226.

[4] Nagao T, Hase T, Tokimitsu I. A green tea extract high in catechins reduces body fat and cardiovascular risks in humans. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Jun;15(6):1473-83. doi: 10.1038/oby.2007.176. PMID: 17557985.

[5] Sugiura C, Zheng G, Liu L, Sayama K. Catechins and Caffeine Promote Lipid Metabolism and Heat Production Through the Transformation of Differentiated 3T3-L1 Adipocytes from White to Beige Adipocytes. J Food Sci. 2020 Jan;85(1):192-200. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.14811. Epub 2019 Nov 28. PMID: 31777962.