November 5, 2011

Green Tea May Limit Weight Gain and Fat Absorption, New Study Finds

By Deanna Lynn Sletten


A study published in the October, 2011 online version of Obesity finds that a substance in green tea may be effective in slowing down weight gain, even when eating a high-fat diet, as well as limit fat absorption.  The study, conducted by scientists at Penn State University, is one more in a long line of many over the years showing the health benefits of drinking green tea.

Study on Green Tea and Reduced Weight Gain

Joshua Lambert, lead author of the study, and fellow researchers placed overweight mice in two different groups: one group ate a high-fat diet supplemented with a component of green tea and the other group of mice ate the same diet but without the supplement.  The component of green tea used was Epigallocatechin-3-gallate – EGCG.  The researchers found that the group of mice who ingested EGCG along with their diet slowed down their weight gaining ability by 45 percent as compared to the mice who didn't take EGCG.  In addition, the mice taking EGCG also lowered fat absorption.  According to Lambert, "First, EGCG reduces the ability to absorb fat and, second, it enhances the ability to use fat."

The researches did notice that the addition of EGCG to the diet did not suppress the appetite of the mice, as some studies have suggested about green tea.  However, green tea as a whole has many components which may influence appetite. 

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What about Humans and Green Tea?

How does this study apply to humans?  Lampert admits that humans would have to drink ten cups of green tea a day to absorb the same amount of EGCG that was used in the mice in the study.  But don't despair.  What little human data there is shows that people who drink one or two cups of green tea a day do still experience an effect on body weight as compared to non-tea drinkers.

Do EGCG Supplements Help Control Weight?

There isn't exact science to back up the fact that only taking EGCG supplements will give you the same benefits as actually drinking green tea as a whole.  In one article, the National Institutes of Health discusses the fact that while EGCG in green tea has been found in some studies to be effective in preventing numerous diseases and health conditions, it may be a variety of components in green tea working together with EGCG that actually causes the positive effects.  While taking EGCG supplements as prescribed certainly couldn't hurt, drinking green tea may be the better route to take.

Is Green Tea Healthy for Everyone?

Drinking one or two cups of green tea a day should be fine for most people but if you take prescription medications, talk to your doctor first because there are some known side-effect to mixing green tea with certain medications.  The University of Maryland Medical Center warns that people with heart problems, kidney disorders, diagnosed anxiety, and stomach ulcers not drink green tea.  Green tea also contains high amounts of caffeine which may cause negative effects on people with anxiety, high blood pressure and insomnia.  Green tea also contains components that work as a diuretic, so people taking a prescription diuretic shouldn't drink it. 

Sources:

Science Daily: Green Tea Helps Mice Keep Off Extra Pounds; October 4, 2011

University of Maryland Medical Center: Green Tea

November 4, 2011

Why Holistic Healing Is Catching On with Mainstream Doctors

Guest Post

Many mainstream medical practitioners either scoff at alternative and complementary medicines or have inadequate training or knowledge to make recommendations in this behalf. However, this scenario is changing and as greater understanding of alternative therapies emerges, more mainstream doctors now seek to complement their therapies with them.

For instance, a doctor may prescribe pharmaceutical medications for a problem; but may also recommend that his patient learn about meditation or other relaxation techniques to help along the process of healing. Before putting patients on strong antibiotics and opting for such pharmaceutical interventions, doctors are now more open to considering other options; options that may be more benign and perhaps as effective.

Increasingly medical practitioners are realizing the value of healing the whole rather than removing the symptom and are learning as well, the value of holistic approaches to health for a number of reasons. Doctors are less skeptical and conservative about integrative medicine for possibly the following reasons.

Age old Practices

Ancient and traditional therapies such as Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda the ancient Indian system of medicine and surgery go back literally thousands of years, and are based on ancient wisdom. They are still seen to work today, and it would be shortsighted not to take advantage of centuries old systems and beliefs today as well.
The aim is prevention rather than cure

Complementary and alternative therapies have different aims than conventional pharmaceutical interventions. Whereas pharmaceuticals aim to help a person cope with or remove symptoms of a disease, CAM therapies try to keep the body in good health and balance, so that the disease doesn’t occur in the first place. Nutritional therapy and preventive practices form a large part of integrative and holistic disciplines.
Holistic Treatments focus on the individual and not the symptoms

There are two aspects in which holistic healing differs from mainstream medication. First, holistic treatment is defined as medical practice upholding that all aspects of people's needs, psychological, physical and social, and mentally (and which) should be taken into account and seen as a whole. So the aim is not to remove the symptoms of a disease, but to heal the whole person my removing imbalances and toxins and so on.
Secondly, holistic therapies are not based on a one-size-fits-all principle; rather they take into account the person who is to be treated – their physical type, emotional state, their spiritual requirements, and such factors are deemed as important in determining the sort of treatment that will prove effective.

Holistic therapies are known to have fewer side effects

There is an increasing understanding among people about the possible negative impacts that pharmaceuticals can have on the body’s systems. It is people’s reluctance to put chemicals into their bodies and their unwillingness to suffer side effects of medications that makes them turn to holistic healing, and this is now something that doctors understand as well.

With more people now knowing about and demanding holistic care, mainstream doctors are now becoming more aware of and receptive to therapies that heal the whole and in the process have fewer side effects.

Author Bio:
This is a guest post by AltMedicineZone.com. We invite you to visit the blog for more information on alternativemedicine and natural remedies such as acupuncture, reiki, Tai Chi, Feng Shui, hypnosis, and homeopathy.
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