Green Tea Extract and Weight Loss

A fascinating new study adds to the growing body of literature showing that green tea can impact weight gain and be an important tool in the fight against obesity.

In the current study, published in Obesity, obese mice that were fed a weight-gaining diet put on significantly less weight when they were supplemented with green tea extract.

The mice were allowed to eat as much as they wanted anytime they wanted. Their diet consisted of unlimited amounts of the mice equivalent of McDonald’s, with everything on the menu supersized.

In addition to this Vegas buffet of mice chow, one group of mice were fed EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), the polyphenol in green tea that has been found to have the most profound effect on metabolism and weight. The other group was not.

The group getting the EGCG supplement gained weight at about 45% the rate of the non-supplemented mice.

“There’s no difference in the amount of food the mice are eating”, Lambert told Science Daily. “The mice are essentially eating a milkshake, except one group is eating a milkshake with green tea”.

Lambert estimates that a person would need to drink ten cups of green tea each day to match the amount of EGCG used in the study. But remember, most estimates of how much EGCG are in one cup of brewed tea range from 5-40 mg, so at that rate, sure, ten cups would give you anywhere from 50 to 400 mg of EGCG.

One single capsule of EGCG (green tea extract (EGCG) provides 250 mg, the amount you’d get from 10 cups providing 25 mg each, or approximately 6 cups providing 40 each.

The researchers in this study also noted that fecal fat excretion was 30% higher in the EGCG mice. The belief is that EGCG somehow reduces production in the pancreas of the fat-digesting enzyme lipase so that some of the fat you eat isn’t actually digested. (This is exactly how the weight loss pill ALLI works).

“There seems to be two prongs to this”, said Lambert. “First, EGCG reduces the ability to absorb fat and, second, it enhances the ability to use fat”.

The excellent thing about drinking green tea and taking green tea supplements is that even if they don’t help you lose weight—and there’s no reason they shouldn’t!—they do a million other good things for you.

Green tea (and green tea extract, EGCG) have been shown to have preventive effects in obesity, insulin resistance, and hypertension. Green tea polyphenols like EGCG have been shown to have a role in cancer prevention. And green tea itself contains a nice relaxing compound called Theanine which is actually used as a drug in Japan for anxiety and which is available as a supplement.

There aren’t too many supplements you can take that can positively impact your weight and have as “side effects” anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-insulin resistance, anti-hypertension and anti-cancer activity!




  1. phil poe

    I drink green tea regularly and I also promote different teas on my website. I was looking into one particular green tea supplement that is sort of popular on the internet now that claimed you need to drink 45 cups A DAY of green tea for it to really help with weight loss. This doesn’t match up with studies I have read. Do you have any comments on this? I’m really curious.

  2. Dr. Jonny Bowden

    I’d say that that is the silliest thing i ever heard, but unfortunately it’s not– i hear way sillier things every day. But it’s ONE of the silliest things i ever heard.

  3. Andy

    I religiously eat a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet. Should I be concerned with EGCG blocking fat absorption leading to too much protein in my diet?

    I also fast most of the day.. having my first meal about 4pm and my last at about 8pm. Nothing outside of that eating window. Would having EGCG first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach) be more beneficial in my circumstance?


    BTW – I really enjoyed “Living Low Carb”

  4. HealthWellness

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  5. Don Bodenbach

    If you look at the ingredients list for any fat burning supplement, chances are that Green Tea will be on there. Green Tea has been proven to increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate.

  6. jason

    I take metformin and green tea fat burner and drink diet green tea and walk 3 miles everyday and eat only 250 calories a day or less if i keep this up will i lose the weight i want too and how long will it take me to see the weight drop off? Thanks