Oolong Tea Metabolism
Going Beyond EGCG

An oolong tea metabolism study that investigates which compounds are responsible for its weight loss effect.
oolong tea metabolism

What does oolong tea contain that helps lose weight?

Green tea is unoxidised while oolong tea (wulong tea) is semi-oxidised. Because it is semi-oxidized, oolong tea's chemical composition is more complex than green tea.

Green tea contains EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), the most active and abundant of green tea catechins.

During fermentation, catechins oxidise to form thearubigins and theaflavins that characterize oolong tea.

Green tea studies have found that EGCG and caffeine promote weight loss. Oolong tea contains these two compounds too, albeit in smaller quantity.

Researchers in the University of Tokushima School of Medicine, Japan, found that oolong tea contains some other compounds other than EGCG and caffeine that promotes weight loss.

11 healthy Japanese females, aged around 20 years, participated in this short study. They drank either water, green tea or oolong tea.

Using an indirect calorimeter, the researchers were able to measure the amount of energy they burned for up to 2 hours after drinking.

They found that green tea burns an extra 50 calories compared to water. Interestingly, oolong tea burns an extra 110 calories.

The oolong tea beverage had half the amounts of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and caffeine in green tea, but twice the amount of polyphenols.

The authors concluded that the oolong tea metabolism increase is caused by caffeine and EGCG plus something else.

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Komatsu T, Nakamori M, Komatsu K, Hosoda K, Okamura M, Toyama K, Ishikura Y, Sakai T, Kunii D, Yamamoto S (2003). Oolong tea increases energy metabolism in Japanese females. The journal of medical investigation : JMI. 2003 Aug;50(3-4):170-5.

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