There are two ways to lose weight -- either reduce energy
intake, or increase energy expenditure. Because hypothyroidism -- even after
treatment -- may reduce energy expenditure in some people, patients naturally
are looking for options that can help safely help raise the metabolism.
In a study reported on in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it
was found that green tea extract resulted in a significant increase in energy
expenditure (a measure of metabolism), plus also had a significant effect on
fat oxidation. While some of the effects were originally theorized to be due to
the caffeine content of green tea, the researchers discovered that the tea
actually has properties that go beyond those that would be explained by the
caffeine. The same amount of caffeine as was in the green tea, administered
alone, failed to change energy expenditure in other studies. This led
reseachers to believe that there is some interaction going on with the active
ingredients of green tea that promotes increased metabolism and fat oxidation.
The researchers indicated that their findings have
substantial implications for weight control. A 4% overall increase in 24-hour
energy expenditure was attributed to the green tea extract, however, the
research found that the extra expenditure took place during the daytime. This
led them to conclude that, since thermogenesis (the body's own rate of burning
calories) contributes 8-10% of daily energy expenditure in a typical cubject,
that this 4% overall increase in energy expenditure due to the green tea
actually translated to a 35-43% increase in daytime thermogenesis.
If critical importance to thyroid patients is the fact
that none of the research subjects reported any side effects, and no
significant differences in heart rates were noticed. In this respect, green tea
extract is different from some of the prescription drugs for obesity, and
herbal products like ephedra, which can raise heart rates and blood pressure,
and are not recommended for many individuals, in particular, those with thyroid
disease who may be particularly sensitive to stimulants.
If you were to incorporate green tea into your weight
loss efforts, how is the best way to go about it?
One way would be to choose a reputable brand of organic green tea at a health
food store or natural grocery, and start by taking a cup of tea every day. You
can also take a green tea extract, in the form of a supplement.
Either way, says dietitian Lynn Moss, M.S., R.D., a continuing education
specialist for Pharmavite, makers of Nature Made and Nature's Resource
supplements and herbs, you should definitely take the green tea with meals, to
reproduce the study's conditions as much as possible.
Moss also feels that green tea may be a good choice for thyroid patients because,
unlike caffeine, " green tea has the potential to accelerate metabolism --
which can help weight loss slightly -- without overstimulating your adrenal
glands. Even a small effect can go a long way, when you are dealing with a
metabolism that may not rebound entirely, despite hypothyroidism treatment.
SPECIAL NOTE: Is Green Tea Dangerous to the
In response to my article, some readers expressed
concerns regarding the high fluoride content in tea, and the negative
relationship between ingestion of too much fluoride and thyroid problems, as
well as This is definitely something to be considered before deciding to take
green tea. While green tea has some definite benefits in the cancer-prevention
and metabolism-boosting arena, the fluoride content may, according to some
practitioners, be a concern for the public in general, but specifically for
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have been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose,
treat, cure or prevent any disease. As always, consult your physician before
taking any and all supplements. LifeSource Vitamins. Individual results may
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