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Green tea targets belly fat

Accumulation of fat in the abdomen is associated with several health problems including insulin resistance and diabetes. New research indicates that catechins in green tea, especially EGCG, may target this dangerous fat.

Japanese researchers assessed the effects of supplementing with green tea on weight and fat loss with a special emphasis on belly fat. Obese men and women were randomly given a daily drink with approximately 625 mg catechins (39 mg caffeine) or a control beverage (39 mg caffeine, no catechins) for 12 weeks. They made no other changes in their diet, but were required to increase daily physical activity.

The catechin group lost almost 5 pounds, more than twice the control group who lost 2 pounds, but this was not statistically significant. Fat loss was also greater in the catechin group (-5.2%) versus the control (-3.5%). The most noteworthy finding was that the catechin group lost significantly more fat in the abdomen (-7.7%) compared to the control (-0.3%). There was also a significantly greater decrease in blood levels of triglycerides in the catechin group. 

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