Visceral fat, also known as belly fat, encroaches on important organs in the body, such as the liver, stomach, kidneys, and intestines. This precarious positioning puts you at risk of chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Finding ways to reduce the belly fat is therefore vital.
Diet offers a potent weapon against the deadly fat and specific items have proven particularly effective.
According to a study published in the journal Obesity, green tea packs properties that get at visceral fat.
Green tea is made from the Camellia Sinensis – the same plant that black tea hails from.
For the study, the body fat reducing effect and reduction of risks for cardiovascular disease by a green tea extract high in catechins was investigated in humans with typical lifestyles.
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Crucially, visceral fat area “decreased significantly over time”, the researchers observed.
The benefits did not stop there. Greater decreases in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and LDL cholesterol were found in the catechin group compared with the control group.
LDL cholesterol and high blood pressure are precursors to heart disease that often come hand in hand with visceral fat build-up.
What accounts for this anti-obesity effect?
Recent findings from human studies have found that consuming green tea and green tea extracts may help to reduce body weight and fat, by increasing our bodies’ metabolism and fat oxidisation.
One study on obese males found that EGCG – a specific type of catechins – alone has the potential to increase fat oxidisation in humans.
Participants who were given 300mg of EGCG for two days experienced increased fat oxidisation than those given a placebo.
A lot of studies into green tea use green tea extract, which is more potent than a cup of brewed green tea.
“That’s not to say you can’t match the content of green tea extract with the drink, you’ll just have to drink more,” notes Holland and Barrett.