Green tea stops starch absorption
Forget dodgy weight loss pills - scientists claim green tea could be the key to dropping pounds.
According to a new study led by Jaroslaw Walkowiak of Poznan University in Poland, an extract found in the tea reduces the amount of starch absorbed from food during meals. Starch is the most common carbohydrate in the human diet and foods such as potatoes, rice, wheat and maize contain large amounts.
Researchers now hope the extract could be given to obese or diabetic people to help them lose weight.
To test their theory, 28 participants between the ages of 19 and 28 were asked to fast for 12 hours and then given a bowl of cornflakes to consume. After that, they were told to eat a wafer - some were given wafers with around four grams of green tea extract, some contained none. Consuming four grams of the extract is akin to drinking several cups of green tea.
When starch is broken down in the body, it can be detected via carbon dioxide on the breath. So following the experiment, the participants' breath was tested.
Researchers found those who'd consumed the green tea extract showed a decreased level of starch digestion and absorption. And because it's such an easy product to come across, they hope it can soon be used to help countless overweight people.
"This plant extract is widely available, inexpensive, and well tolerated, so it has potential utility for weight control and the treatment of diabetes," the study authors said in the Nature Scientific Reports journal.
Green tea is a great way to start your morning, so think about switching your breakfast tea or coffee for the green drink. If you don't like the bitter taste, add a little lemon or honey.