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Caffeine/green tea supplement, another weight loss aid

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By David Liu, PHD

Friday Nov 16, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- Weight loss is not easy and weight maintenance after weight loss may prove even more difficult.  A small trial in the journal Obesity suggests that a combination of caffeine and green tea can help accomplish both, at least in certain individuals.

Margriet S. Westerterp-Plantenga of Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University in Maastricht, The Netherlands investigated the effect of a green tea/caffeine mix on weight maintenance (WM) after weight loss in moderately obese subjects and found the supplementation very effective.

For the randomized placebo controlled double-blind trial, 76 overweight and moderately obese subjects with a body mass index of 27.5 g/m2 were following a very low energy diet for four weeks and then received either a green tea-caffeine mix (270 mg epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG and 150 mg caffeine per day) or placebo for 3 months.

As a result, subjects lose 5.9 kg of weight.  Those who had high caffeine intake reduced body weight, fat mass, and waist circumference more than those with low caffeine intake and they tended to have lower resting energy expenditure  and respiratory quotient during the weight loss phase. 

During the weight maintenance period, in those who had low intake of caffeine, green tea continued to reduce body weight, waist circumference, respiratory quotient and body fat while resting energy expenditure was increased, compared with those on placebo.

During the weight maintenance period, those with high caffeine consumption, the green tea-caffeine mixture did not seem to have an effect on body weight.

The researchers concluded "High caffeine intake was associated with weight loss through thermogenesis and fat oxidation and with suppressed leptin in women. In habitual low caffeine consumers, the green tea-caffeine mixture improved WM, partly through thermogenesis and fat oxidation."

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