Is green tea the secret to Mighty Mouse's amazing power?
Probably not. But green tea extract does make mice stronger swimmers, Japanese researchers report. Ten weeks of green tea supplements plus strenuous exercise made mice swim longer and stronger than mice that swam their laps without performance enhancement...
Even better news: The mice got stronger because the green tea made them burn fat more efficiently, suggests (Takatoshi) Murase (PhD) and colleagues at the Biological Sciences Laboratories of Kao Corp., Tochigi, Japan. Kao Corp. is a maker of green tea products.
Well and good for the mice. But what about me? Am I going to have to drink 8 gallons of green tea daily in order to feel "the burn," slim down, and swim like an Olympian? Apparently not. According to the experts' calculations:
...the amount of green tea eaten by the mice would work out to about 4 cups of green tea a day for a 165-pound human athlete. That's a little less than a liter of tea a day.
And, a separate medical study is underscoring green tea's fat fighting power in humans:
The study showed that people who drank a bottle of tea fortified with green tea extract every day for three months lost more body fat than those who drank a bottle of regular oolong tea.
Researchers say the results indicate that substances found in green tea known as catechins may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decreasing body fat...In this study, researchers looked at the effects of catechins on body fat reduction and weight loss in a group of 35 Japanese men. The men had similar weights based on their BMIBMI (body mass index, an indicator of body fat) and waist sizes.
The men were divided into two groups. For three months, the first group drank a bottle of oolong tea fortified with green tea extract containing 690 milligrams of catechins, and the other group drank a bottle of oolong tea with 22 milligrams of catechins.
During this time, the men ate identical breakfasts and dinners and were instructed to control their calorie and fat intake at all times so that overall total diets were similar.
After three months, the study showed that the men who drank the green tea extract lost more weight (5.3 pounds vs. 2.9 pounds) and experienced a significantly greater decrease in BMI, waist size, and total body fat.
And, if all of this good news about green tea isn't enough to get you to out to the nearest Korean deli or supermarket to pick some up, how about the news that green tea is a boon for your teeth or the studies revealing that green tea can stem the spread of prostate cancer? And, for you geeks out there,it's been discovered that green tea can even help keep your computer's hardware squeaky clean.
Of mice and men, indeed. I think it's green tea that should be shouting: "Here I come to save the day!"