Objective: The present study aims to investigate the anti-obesity effects of green tea extract (GTE) which contains a very low dose of polyphenols and Epigallocatechin gallate, (EGCG) in obese young adult males. Methods: A total of 50 young healthy obese male (BMI ≥ 30) within the age range 24-35 years were included in the study and were randomly assigned to either of one group placebo (1 gram gluten-free corn flex) or GTE group (349 mg of polyphenols and 136 mg of EGCG; 4 capsules/day) for 12 weeks. Bodyweight, BMI, lipid profile (total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides, HDL) were measured in the study subjects at the start of the study and after 12 weeks of supplementation. Appropriate statistical analysis was applied to analyse the data. Results: Remarkable decrease in body weight (weight, 89.2±6.2 kg vs.75.4±6.3 kg, p<0.001) and BMI (31.6±1.5 kg/m2 vs. 26.6±1.4 kg/m2, p<0.001) were observed in only GTE group after 12 weeks but not in placebo group (weight: 88.6±6.9 kg vs. 88.0±6.6 kg; BMI: 31.2±1.1 kg/m2 vs. 30.9±0.9 kg/m2). Serum lipids total cholesterol (282.2±14.8 vs. 188.0±7.2), LDL (187.8±5.6 vs. 122.7±4.5 mmoles/L), triglycerides (281.2±10.8 vs. 168.9±7.6 mmoles/L) were reduced and HDL (28.5±2.7 vs. 37.5±3.1 mmoles/L) was increased only in GTE ingesting group after 12 weeks. No significant difference in total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides and HDL was seen in placebo group after 12 weeks. No side effects or adverse events was noted in any study subjects. Conclusion: This study establishes that low doses of green tea extract for 12 weeks are effective in reducing the body weight, BMI, total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides as well as increasing the HDL in young obese males. Our results confirm the beneficial effect of green tea extract.
Green tea extract, Polyphenols, Epigallocatechin gallate, Obesity, Body weight, Lipids
Overweight and obesity is a preventable common health problem increasingly seen in young populations globally. According to WHO, in 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults aged >18 years were overweight of which 650 million were obese . According to the Global Burden of Disease study in 2013, middle eastern countries have the highest incidences of overweight and obesity in both the genders . Obesity alone is known to affect the serum lipid profile. It increases total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides and reduces HDL [3,4]. Altered serum lipid profile forms a gateway to numerous adverse health conditions such as diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidaemia and cardiovascular diseases [5,6]. Hence, treating overweight and obesity could normalize the deranged lipid profile thus reducing the risk of these deadly diseases.
Current treatment regime for obesity includes pharmacological interventions for Class I (BMI 30-34 kg/m2) and Class II (BMI 35-40 Kg/m2) obesity while for Class III (BMI>40 kg/m2) obesity bariatric surgery is recommended . Among pharmacological drugs, statins (HMG Co-A reductase inhibitor) are widely used as lipid lowering agents . Although they are efficient in reducing total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides as well as increasing HDL; consistent use of statins is associated with incidences of hepatotoxicity and myalgia as evident from human studies and animal experiments [9-11]. Hence, presently natural alternatives rather than synthetic drugs are most sought after as they are known to have fewer side effects.
Green tea (Camellia sinensis, GT) is increasingly becoming a healthy beverage worldwide due to its numerous beneficial effects on human health. GT is an abundant source of polyphenols called catechins (epiogallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), and epicatechin (EC). Among them EGCG is the most pharmacologically active component . In recent years, a plethora of studies have been conducted on examining the anti-obesity effect of GT. Nonetheless, the result from these studies are not consistent. Huang et al., reported that GTE treatment for 6 weeks reduced weight and LDL in obese women but had no effect on BMI, total cholesterol, triglyceride and HDL . In another study, GTE consumption for 8 weeks considerably decreased body weight and BMI but only mildly affected LDL and no effect on total cholesterol, triglyceride and HDL . Hsu CH, et al. (2018) observed that in obese women who received GTE for 12 weeks had no difference in body weight, BMI and total cholesterol compared to placebo but had remarkably lowered LDL, triglyceride and increased HDL . Yet, in another study, GTE supplementation for 3 months decreased BMI, total cholesterol, LDL, triglyceride and increased HDL .
Hence, more human data from different ethnic background is required to bring a conclusive view on beneficial effects of GTE on body weight, BMI, and lipid profile. In this study we aimed to examine the effect of GTE treatment on lipid profile and weight of young obese Saudi men.