If you’ve been on Instagram or Twitter anytime, well…. ever, you’ve probably noticed that people have been hawking sketchy “medically proven” “flat tummy”, “slimming”, and “weight loss” teas for quite some time now.
It seems that with those teas comes the promise of instant fame, thousands of followers and mysteriously financed trips to Dubai. But what if the REAL weight loss tea is just plain old black tea?
According to a new study authored by Dr. Zhaoping Li of UCLA, black tea may stimulate a fast metabolism by encouraging the formation of weight loss-boosting bacteria in the small intestine. This is interesting because for years, most people who know tea have assumed that green tea is the king of weight loss aids (“most people” obviously not including “fitness models” and the like on the ‘gram).
Polyphenols Are Our Friends
We’ve known for a long time that chemicals in green tea called polyphenols are absorbed into the intestine upon drinking a cup of tea, then help with weight loss by accelerating metabolism in the liver. This is part of the reason why tea fans have stood by green tea as a way to help stay slim.
But now, this study suggests that the polyphenols in black tea, which are different from the polyphenols in green tea, are too large to be absorbed into our intestine. Instead, they sit in the small intestine and stimulate gut bacterium growth and the formation of short-chain fatty acids, which also accelerate metabolism in our livers.
In addition, both green and black teas are both prebiotics, and seem to decrease levels of intestinal bacteria that are related to obesity, and increase bacteria levels linked to a lean body. The only qualification here is that tea has to be taken without milk for these benefits to apply.
How To (Maybe) Lose Weight
So our suggestion? Well, like many of the health gurus on social media, we’re not actually medical experts, but why not drink both kinds of tea and get all the benefits that you can get?
In case you were wondering, the study was published in the European Journal of Nutrition and is called “Decaffeinated green and black tea polyphenols decrease weight gain and alter microbiome populations and function in diet-induced obese mice“. Yes, that’s 22 words. You can read more about it here.
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