You’ve already heard that green tea may help you shed pounds. But now, University of California, Los Angeles researchers have found that black tea might help promote weight loss, too.
For the study, which was recently published in the European Journal of Nutrition, the researchers fed four groups of mice different diets for one month:
- Low-fat and high-sugar
- High-fat and high-sugar
- High-fat and high sugar with green tea extract
- High-fat and high sugar with black tea extract
After measuring the rodents’ fat, gut bacteria, and liver tissues, they found that both of the tea groups on a high-fat diet lost a similar amount of weight compared to the mice eating less fat, or fewer calories overall.
That’s because green and black teas are abundant in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that has been shown to improve your heart health and play a role in weight loss. But the way these antioxidants travel through your body differs in black tea compared to green tea, the study authors note.
Polyphenols in green tea are easily absorbed into your blood. Past research suggests this can help you shed pounds by altering your liver’s metabolism. The polyphenols in black tea, however, work through your intestines, since they’re too big to be absorbed into your bloodstream, the study authors note. Here, they help bolster good-for-you bacteria in your gut, which can help keep your metabolism running efficiently.
The study found that both types of tea can positively affect gut bacteria, but only black tea led to an increase in a type of bacteria called Pseudobutyrivibrio and short-chain fatty acids in the mice, which potentially explains how it could impact your metabolism differently than green tea.
And while the study was done in mice, the researchers believe the results could apply to humans, too.
“Our new findings suggest that black tea, through a specific mechanism through the gut microbiome, may also contribute to good health and weight loss in humans,” Susanne Henning, Ph.D., R.D., lead study author and adjunct professor at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition stated in a press release. “The results suggest that both green and black teas are prebiotics, substances that induce the growth of good microorganisms that contribute to a person’s well-being.”
Important note: Drinking any kind of tea won’t magically melt away fat all on its own. To really rev your metabolism, make sure your incorporate intense muscle-building workouts into your routine, too.
By Alisa Hrustic