Oolong Tea's Health Promotion
～Extracts from Health Reports～
Effect of Controlling Obesity
a Chinese Archive on Pharmacology
|In China, tea has historically been
used as a medicine. Many studies have been carried out up to
the present day about the effects of tea. It has been known
for some time that tea helps to control obesity and this is
common knowledge in China. A Chinese classical pharmaceutical
book called the Bencao Shiyi (The Compendium of Materia Medica)
states, "Drinking tea for a long time will make one live long
to stay in good shape without becoming too fat and too heavy."
excessive accumulation of fat within the system
|In modern medical science, obesity does not simply
mean being overweight. Obesity is defined as an "excess accumulation
of fat in the human body," indicating that "the amount of fat
within the body has increased beyond its normal range." As shown
in the chart, the normal range of fat against weight is 15-20%
for a man and 20-25% for a woman. A man will be diagnosed as
being obese if he has a fat-to-weight ratio of 25% or more,
and for a woman, if she has a ratio of 30% or more.
accumulates inside fat cells
|Why does obesity occur? The mechanism
of obesity is like this. Among other food items taken into your
body through meals every day, sugar and fat are synthesized
into triglyceride in the liver and the small intestine, which
are then carried in the bloodstream into various other tissues
in the body. More triglyceride than any other kind of fat is
contained in the human body and it is used as a source of energy
for life support and physical activities. Excess amounts of
triglyceride will be deposited within fat cells. This is the
mechanism of fat metabolism in which an excess accumulation
of triglyceride in the body causes obesity.
|?Oolong tea enhances
the function of fat metabolism.
|Polyphenol in oolong tea is effective
in controlling obesity. Specifically speaking, it activates
the enzyme that is responsible for dissolving triglyceride.
It has been confirmed that the continuous intake of oolong tea
contributes to enhancing the function of fat metabolism and
to controlling obesity.
demonstrate that oolong tea helps to prevent obesity
|Experiments using laboratory animals were conducted
to verify the effect of oolong tea on the prevention of obesity.
Rats were used in the experiments. They were divided into three
groups: one was a control group that was given normal feed and
water; another was given high calorie feed containing extra
fat and water; while the third group was given the same kind
of high-calorie feed but with oolong tea as a drink. All the
rats weighed the same before the experiments but weighed differently
six weeks later according to their groups. The two groups of
high calorie-fed rats gained more weight than the control group
of rats fed with the normal feed, and no weight difference was
observed between the two groups of high-calorie fed rats.
|But when the fat cells of the two
groups of rats were compared, the quantity of the visceral fat
and that of the subcutaneous fat of the group of rats that was
given oolong tea was smaller than that of the other group. It
was also proven that even when rats were given fatty food, if
they were also given oolong tea, they were prevented from becoming
obese without any effect on their growth.
on Obese People
|A clinical test was carried out on
75 people between 22 and 68 years old who were obese merely
because of overeating and/or lack of physical exercise. They
were asked to consume a drink made by infusing two packs of
oolong tea in water, once in the morning and once in the afternoon
for six weeks. They were also asked to refrain from receiving
any dietary treatment or taking any exercise.
|?Thickness of subcutaneous
|Echography sensors were placed at a spot 3 cm
to the right of the naval of each of the subjects to measure
the thickness of their subcutaneous fat. Compared with readings
before the test, the thickness of subcutaneous fat decreased
by about 4 mm on average after completion of the test program.
|As for triglycerides, the serum triglyceride
level in some people who had a level higher than the standard
before the test clearly fell after the test. It was also confirmed
that the serum total cholesterol level in some people who had
a level higher than the standard before the test clearly dropped
and improved. In addition, 67% of those who participated in
the test lost weight. Through the animal and clinical tests,
it was confirmed that the continuous intake of oolong tea promotes
the function of fat metabolism and contributes to controlling