Can Green Tea Reduce the Harmful Effects of an Unhealthy Diet?
Green tea, which is one of the most widely consumed beverages worldwide, is known to have several health benefits. Now, researchers have discovered that a substance in green tea, called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, may help fight the effects of a Western diet—that is, a diet high in red and processed meats, saturated fats, and refined sugars and carbohydrates, and low in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood, and poultry.
According to researchers at the College of Food Science and Engineering at Northwest A&F University in China, a study in mice showed that EGCG reduces insulin resistance, obesity, and memory loss in animals fed a diet high in fat and sugar. Results of the study were recently published in The FASEB Journal.
The study involved three groups of mice—a control group that was fed a standard diet, one group that was fed a high-fat, high-sugar diet, and a third group that was fed a high-fat, high-sugar diet along with EGCG supplements. At the end of the study period, animals fed the unhealthy diet gained weight, as expected, but weight gain was lower in mice who received ECGC. Mice who received the supplements were also less likely to experience insulin resistance and memory loss (measured by a maze test) than the other group. More research is needed to determine if these results can be confirmed in people.