Green Tea | Protein Digestion | Reversing Prediabetes

Weight management and cardiovascular health are two important aspects of reversing prediabetes and avoiding diabetes.  Green tea appears to have a role in the prediabetes diet, but may be best between meals.

I have previously posted on the topic of green tea and its apparent satiety effect.  A new study using an animal model suggests that green tea may have an effect on body weight and cardiovascular health, but protein digestion may be a problem. In this study, rats that ate green tea along with a high fat diet gained less body weight and accumulated less fat than animals not supplemented with tea.

The findings, published in Nutrition Research, show that consuming the human equivalent of 5-8 cups of green tea per day by the rats was associated with a 5.6% decrease in body weight gain, and a 17.8% decrease in fat accumulation after eight weeks. The animals also had significantly lower measures of atherogenesis (“hardening of the arteries”) of about 14.3%, compared to non-supplemented animals.

One possible negative is that the researchers also noted a decrease in protein digestion following green tea consumption. Both green tea groups in this study showed a reduction in the digestion of protein by about 17%, compared with about 7% in the high fat fed animals without tea.

It is not yet known whether this would carry-over to humans, but the decreased fat gain and improved cardiovascular risk may need to be reconciled with this apparent issue of protein digestion. I imagine that future animal and human studies will look at this.

5-8 cups of green tea per day is a lot.  The philosophy at Nutrientology is to use diet supplementation in moderation and in some cases less than the manufacturer recommends.  This is one of those cases.  Do not approach diet and diet supplementation with the idea that if a little is good a lot is better.

In addition, until human studies are available to either confirm or deny the effect on protein digestion, it is advised that you consider drinking tea or taking a green tea supplement between meals.

The four major polyphenols found in green tea leaves are epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epicatechin.

Go to Green Tea Supplement at the NutrientologyTM Store.

Go to Green Tea Research for more studies related to diabetes and prediabetes metabolic syndrome.


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About Robert Creighton

Dr. Creighton is a podiatrist and foot surgeon with over 26 years in podiatric practice treating thousands of patients afflicted with the physiological, physical, and psychological side effects and complications of diabetes and pre-diabetes metabolic syndrome. He believes these disorders present a pressing public health concern that need to be more actively addressed in a multidisciplinary way. Dr. Creighton graduated from what is now the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine after receiving his undergraduate degree in Biology. He is certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery, a member of the American Public Health Association, an American College of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and a Member of the American Nutrition Association.

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