White Tea Fights Obesity--New German
Study Offers Preliminary Hope

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May 1, 2009, last updated May 4, 2014

By Susan M. Callahan, Health  Editor and Featured Columnist

A German research team has found that drinking a special
kind of tea called "white tea" helps to fight obesity.  White
tea is made from immature tea leaves and has been
consumed in China for many generations. The type of
green and black tea that we Westerners consume is made
from more mature tea leaves. But as with many stories
which arrive as "blockbuster news", we at collectivewizdom
decided to dig a bit deeper.

study, published today in the Journal of Nutrition and
Metabolism, found that white tea not only inhibits the
production of new fat cells but it also facilitates the
breakdown of mature fat cells.

The study was based on in vitro experiments in which
extracts of white tea were added to human fat cells in the
laboratory. No actual human beings were studied, and for
this reason, we have no idea how many cups of white tea
would be optimal to induce the same obesity-fighting
effects in real life.

At best, the findings on white can be called promising but
preliminary.  We'll keep you posted as this fascinating
research continues to develop.

In the meantime, however, it makes sense to add a few
cups of white tea to your daily tea consumption, if you are
trying to shed a few pounds.

Some Western companies have begun to sell white tea. The
Twinings Company based in the UK, for example,  has
introduced a brand of white tea made from young tea
leaves from the Fujian region of South East China.  The tea
is made from the bud and top leaf of the Camellia sinensis

Most other manufacturers of white tea use a similar
procedure, with the goal being to process the tea as little
as possible. This apparently in the key to preserving the  
ingredients believed to act upon human cells, such as
methylxanthines (like caffeine) and
epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).

Hot Tea--- But Not Cold Tea --- Associated with Weight

When it comes to tea and weight loss, not all tea is created
equal. A 2013 study comparing hot tea drinkers with those
who drank cold tea found that only hot tea drinking is
associated with a lower body weight. The study, conducted
by Dr. Jacqueline Vernarelli of Pennyslvania State University
and other researchers, found that drinking hot tea was
linked with a Body Mass Index of  26 kg/m2 in women
(versus the norm of 29)  and 25 kg/m2 in men (versus the
norm of  28).

For cold tea drinkers, the reverse was true. Drinking cold
tea was associated with having a higher body weight and a
larger waist circumference.

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