Metabolic syndrome is a syndrome typically characterized by central body obesity (the “Apple” shape), hypertension, and disturbances to the body’s metabolism of glucose and insulin. Metabolic syndrome has been associated with increased risks for both type 2 diabetes and Coronary Heart Disease (CVD).
Obesity is considered to be the main risk factor for developing Metabolic Syndrome. Currently, 32% of US adults are considered to be obese vs. 15% in Europe, but the Europeans are rapidly increasing in obesity.
Green tea is a rich source of compounds called catechins, which are believed to play a positive role in health protection and promotion. One catechin in particular, Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), is identified as of primary importance. Recent research studies in vitro (“in glass” or laboratory studies) and in vivo (“in living” or human studies) have associated EGCG with weight loss. Researchers proposed three possible inter-related mechanisms for this action: EGCG could promote energy metabolism and fatty acid oxidation; EGCG could inhibit the development of fat cells (apidogenesis); and/or EGCG could reduce the absorption of lipids from the digestive tract and increase their excretion from the body.
There is an increased effect from EGCG supplements taken with caffeine, but since caffeine is common among tea, coffee and soda drinkers, it need not necessarily be added to the supplement itself. The caffeine helps to provide a second stimulate to the nervous system to promote increased metabolism.
Green Tea extracts with EGCG have also been associated with the dilation of blood vessels and improved function of the vessel lining to improve blood flow.