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Green tea catechins reduce abdominal fat in a randomized trial.

Reference: Maki KC, Reeves MS, Fanner M, et al. Green tea catechin consumption enhances exercise-induced abdominal fat loss in overweight and obese adults. J Nutr 2009;139:264-70.

Design: Randomized double blind intervention trial

Participants: 132 overweight or obese adults (BMI between 25 and 40 kg/[m.sup.2]) with total cholesterol levels above 200 mg/dl at baseline, of whom 107 completed the trial

Study Medication and Dosage: A beverage containing 625 mg of green tea catechins plus 39 mg of caffeine were given to half the subjects with the remainder receiving the same beverage inclusive of the caffeine but without the catechins. The catechins consisted of approximately 1/3 epegallocatechin galate (EGCG) and approximately 1/3 epigallocatechin, with the remaining 1/3 consisting of much smaller amounts of other green tea catechins. The intervention lasted 12 weeks and both catechin and placebo groups were encouraged to participate in a minimum of 3 hours per week of moderately intense exercise.

Main Outcome Measures: Body weight, total abdominal fat area, subcutaneous abdominal fat area, and triglyceride (TG) levels

Key Findings: Adjusted for age, gender, and baseline levels, weight loss was 4.9 lbs in the group receiving catechins versus 2.2 pounds in the placebo group (nonsignificant). Percentage changes in total fat mass were similar in both groups but the catechin group experienced a 7.7% loss in total abdominal fat are compared with a 0.3% loss in the placebo group (P = 001). Similar statistically significant changes separated the two groups in terms of subcutaneous abdominal fat area (P <0.02 for difference). Fasting TG levels fell 11% in the catechin group versus 2% in the placebo group (P = 0.02 for difference).

Practice Implications: Green tea catechins have previously been reported to induce oxidation of fat and to increase energy expenditure when combined with modest amounts of caffeine. Others have also reported greater weight loss in those given green tea catechins compared with placebo. Research doses from successful previous trials have typically been in the 500-to-600 mg/d range. In one previous report, an intervention of 300 mg (of EGCG) plus exercise failed to increase weight loss beyond the effects of exercise alone (J Am Coll Nutr 2007;26:S396-402), suggesting the possibility that such a dose may be subtherapeutic. Given that most Americans are overweight and long-term success is achieved by remarkably few patients, any new therapeutic agent that might increase the chance of success may be worth discussing with patients struggling to control their weight.

Author: Steve Austin, N..

Submitted by: Emerson Ecologics

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Title Annotation:Abstracts of Interest
Author:Austin, Steve
Publication:Original Internist
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2009
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