White tea -- the solution to the obesity epidemic?

May 01, 2009

Possible anti-obesity effects of white tea have been demonstrated in a series of experiments on human fat cells (adipocytes). Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Nutrition and Metabolism have shown that an extract of the herbal brew effectively inhibits the generation of new adipocytes and stimulates fat mobilization from mature fat cells.

Marc Winnefeld led a team of researchers from Beiersdorf AG, Germany, who studied the biological effects of an extract of white tea - the least processed version of the tea plant Camellia sinensis. He said, "In the industrialized countries, the rising incidence of obesity-associated disorders including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes constitutes a growing problem. We've shown that white tea may be an ideal natural source of slimming substances".

After treating lab-cultured human pre-adipocytes with the tea extract, the authors found that fat incorporation during the genesis of new adipocytes was reduced. According to Winnefeld, "The extract solution induced a decrease in the expression of genes associated with the growth of new , while also prompting existing adipocytes to break down the fat they contain".

White tea is made from the buds and first leaves of the plant used to make and the most commonly drunk in Western countries. It is less processed than the other teas and contains more of the ingredients thought to be active on human cells, such as methylxanthines (like caffeine) and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) - which the authors believe to be responsible for many of the anti-adipogenic effects demonstrated in their study.

More information: White Tea extract induces lipolytic activity and inhibits adipogenesis in human subcutaneous (pre)-adipocytes, Jörn Söhle, Anja Knott, Ursula Holtzmann, Ralf Siegner, Elke Grönniger, Andreas Schepky, Stefan Gallinat, Horst Wenck, Franz Stäb and Marc Winnefeld, Nutrition & Metabolism (in press), www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

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Egnite
5 / 5 (1) May 01, 2009
As a drinker of a wide variety of teas, I am interested in this "white tea" mainly for its purity and because it sounds like it will have some extra benefits that aren't found in green\black\herbal teas.

I doubt very much that this could be classed as a "solution to the obesity epidemic" (if there even is such a thing, hope i don't catch it) tho. It may be a nice substitute to diet coke but it's hardly a change of diet and lifestyle obese people really need.
petrosdias
5 / 5 (3) May 01, 2009
Benefits of consuming white tea may or may not be great, but starting from the title, this article isn't. The solution to the obesity epidemic is better education on what to eat and what to avoid. And that primarily starts inside the family, but should be extended to actual knowledge of healthy foods and combinations.
People should stop looking at easy alternatives and start learning what their body really needs. If you're already doing that, have your tea too, it's good for you.
randyb
4 / 5 (3) May 01, 2009
I completely disagree with petrosdias. Better education on nutrition is for dummies!

I believe the solution to obesity is a combination of targeted gene suppression, pharmaceuticals, and bio-engineered stomachs.

We will utilize our useless navels (belly-buttons) as an A-B switch. When pressed, all incoming food will be routed to our bio-engineered "fat" stomachs that will do minimal processing on the food (more like trash compacting) and route that compacted food directly to our bowels for extraction. Pharmaceutical drugs will take care of our hunger pains. We can then press our belly-buttons again to switch to our natural stomachs for nourishment from foods of more nutritional and wholesome value.
Egnite
not rated yet May 05, 2009
Roflmao, quality randyb. Guess that's the advice the government will promote?