Oolong tea can really help you lose weight!

Thought it was just another fad? Well apparently not. It is refreshing to find that there have been quite a few scientific studies done that support claims that oolong tea can really assist people with weight loss and is in general very good for your health. The polyphenols it contains not only helps you lose weight, it also remove free radicals and improve your health in general. Oolong tea is also marketed as Wu-long tea.

In China, tea has historically been used as a medicine. Tea can be categorized into three types, depending on the level of fermentation: i.e. green (unfermented), oolong (partially fermented) and black (fermented) tea. White tea falls in the same category as green tea, just in case you wondered. It has been known for some time that tea helps to control obesity and this is common knowledge in China. The western world is now fast realizing the wisdom of this ancient belief. A classical Chinese pharmaceutical book called the “Bencao Shiyi” (A supplement to the Materia Medica) states, “Drinking tea for a long time will make one live long and stay in good shape without becoming too fat and too heavy.”

Oolong tea falls somewhere between green tea and black tea in the duration of time the tea leaves are allowed to oxidize (ferment). The different brands of oolong tea are often slightly more or slightly less fermented, resulting in subtle differences in taste. Tea connoisseurs classify the tea by its aroma (often floral or fruity), and they describe the taste and aftertaste as melon like. Many people absolutely love it, but we have come across people that actually do not like the taste at all. Fortunately for those people all the goodness of oolong tea can also be taken in the form of a tablet! Considerably more expensive, but for those that don’t like the tea, it is a much more pleasant way to get all the benefits of oolong tea.

You will be forgiven for a bit of healthy skepticism when considering the slimming properties of oolong tea. Maybe you were around in the late eighties and early nineties when everybody jumped on the Bai Lin bandwagon, a slimming tea marketed by Peter Forster and his then girlfriend, Samatha Fox. At that stage Samantha Fox was the nation’s favorite Page Three pin-up, so she was a very effective cover girl for Bai Lin tea. They were finally fined 21,000 pounds in 1994 for making fraudulent claims about the pro-slimming properties of Bai Lin tea. Peter Forster’s company Slimweight (UK) Ltd., said slimmers could gorge themselves and still lose weight – as long as they sipped the tea three times a day. It was clearly a preposterous idea, but thousands rushed to buy …

The difference with oolong tea is that it is supported by scientific studies. While it is generally agreed that drinking the tea is good for your health, there is a very good understanding at the same time that nothing will really help unless you also take charge of what you are eating. Oolong tea will help you lose weight faster if you are on a balanced nutritional plan, but it can not perform miracles. Do not expect to gorge yourself on all your favorite food, drink oolong tea, and then still magically lose the weight. To enjoy all of the health benefits of oolong tea, two cups per day is recommended.

How does oolong tea work? The polyphenols in Oolong tea have proven to be effective in activating an enzyme that is responsible for reducing triglycerides (manufactured by your body from the excess sugar and fat that you take in when you overeat). Excess triglycerides are deposited within the fat cells, which encourages the production of more fat cells. By reducing these triglycerides oolong tea helps you to lose weight and stay slim.

Drinking oolong tea also boosts your metabolism. In a 2003 study (Komatsu T, Nakamori M, Komatsu K, et al. “Oolong tea increases energy metabolism in Japanese females.” J Med Invest 2003;50:170 –5) the effects of oolong tea and green tea consumption on fasting energy expenditure (EE) were examined. Eleven healthy normal-weight women were tested after drinking water and again after drinking oolong and green tea in random order. The cumulative increase in EE over resting EE after the consumption of oolong tea, green tea, and water was 110.7 (26.5 kcal), 49.5 (11.8 kcal), and 11.2 kJ (2.7 kcal), respectively, over the 2-h measuring period. The authors concluded that, because oolong tea had less caffeine and EGCG than did green tea, the rise in EE must be due to the presence in oolong tea of more polymerized polyphenols than are found in green tea.

During another study (TF H-Su et al, “ Polyphenol-enriched oolong tea increases fecal lipid excretion”, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2006) 60, 1330–1336. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602464 ) coordinated by the University of Tokushima, Japan it was proven that consuming polyphenol-enriched oolong tea may help increase lipid (fat) excretion while following a high fat diet. Researchers selected 12 healthy young adults on a random basis to follow a high fat diet (38 g/d of lipids from potato chips) with 750 ml of beverages—either a placebo or polyphenol-enriched oolong tea—at three meals; treatment periods lasted 10 days with a seven-day washout. During the oolong tea intervention, lipid excretion into feces was significantly higher than during placebo; cholesterol excretion was also increased during the tea phase. The results of this study indicated that polyphenol-enriched oolong tea could increase lipid excretion into feces when subjects took high-lipid diet.

Free radicals are linked to many signs and symptoms of aging, and certain diseases, including cardiovascular disease and even cancers. Free radicals are paradoxically, also caused by the very thing we need to survive, namely oxygen. Tea polyphenols have been found to be powerful antioxidants that get rid of many of these free radicals. Drinking tea may lower risks of cardio-vascular disease and even cancer. It can also delay some of those nasty, but inescapable signs of ageing processes. A 2003 study conducted by Kenichi Yanagimoto compares green tea, oolong tea and black tea for their antioxidant activities. Green tea was found to be the most potent antioxidant (blocked oxidation by almost 100% over 40 days), followed by oolong tea (blocked oxidation by 50% over 15 days), and then black tea, which showed only a slight anti-oxidant capability.

Our opinion on oolong tea? Go for it! It really does not matter if you ingest it in beverage or capsule form…it will not only help you lose weight, but it has been proven to be very good for you!

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2 Responses to “Oolong tea can really help you lose weight!”

  • Oh boy, Oolong tea may help you lose weight just because the tea itself taste so awful! I thought it may be an acquired taste so I kept trying it (allowed to brew to varying strengths) but it really is not for me. Will have to try the capsules LOL. My husband likes it and is losing weight, but I am not sure how much of that weight is Atkins and how much Oolong tea contributes to the loss.

  • Really cool blog. I found it on yahoo. I am looking forward to read more posts.
    I really need to loose some weight, but I don?t know how

    Thank you

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