Tea and weight loss: Fact or fiction?

Posted by on September 5, 2008 at 9:51 am

Green or Oolong Best Tea for Weight Loss

Tea, the world’s most popular beverage after water, has long been thought to help control weight. Mounting scientific evidence is not only supporting this claim, but explaining why it works.

A paper recently published in the scientific journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research reviewed studies conducted during the past ten years and found significant evidence that tea helps to aid weight loss. The exact mechanisms are still being studied, but tea has been shown to help stimulate fat metabolism and slow down fat absorption.

Tea can also promote weight loss by increasing the amount of energy your body burns. Of course, drinking any caffeinated beverage will raise your metabolic rate, but a study with oolong tea showed that tea worked better than caffeine alone.

Okay, it’s good to know the about the science, but you’re probably wondering how much tea you have to drink to lose weight?

Tea can be placed into three categories: black tea (this is fermented tea like Orange Pekoe and Earl Grey), oolong tea (partially fermented) and green tea (unfermented). Green and oolong tea are probably better for weight loss because the fermentation process reduces the level of catechins, compounds shown to be important in weight loss.

One study showed that women who drank four cups of oolong tea per day lost more than two pounds in a six week period. Another found that men who drank six cups of oolong tea per day had a rate of fat oxidation that was 12 per cent higher on average than the control group.

So drinking tea can help you lose weight, as long as you don’t eat more snacks along with your tea!


Mechanisms of Hypolipidemic and Anti-obesity Effects of Tea and Tea Polyphenols. 2006. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 50: 211-217.

Oolong Tea Increases Metabolic Rate and Fat Oxidation in Men. 2001. The Journal of Nutrition 131:2848-2852.

Clinical Efficacy of Oolong Tea in Simple Obesity. 1998. Journal of Japanese Society of Clinical Nutrition 20: 83-90.

by Ana Thomas

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