Bottom Line/HEALTH:There’s been a lot of talk in the media about green tea extract for weight loss. Help or hype?
Andrew Rubman, ND:Help some people and not others. It really depends on what the individual’s challenges are.
Bottom Line In terms of…
Dr. Rubman:How overweight they are, and mostly if their weight problem is related to inflammation in the gut. Because the green tea extract helps very specifically with that, to help limit the inflammation. Less inflammation in the gut, less water retention. Less water retention, smaller person.
Bottom Line:How would somebody know if they had that need in their gut? Is it worth trying for some period of time, and then either it will work or it won’t?
Dr. Rubman:It’s certainly worth trying. You can think, Am I the sort of person who is prone to having an upset stomach? To feeling bloated after I finish meals? To having a certain amount of bowel irregularity—not quite enough to tell the doctor, but I know it varies from day to day, or I tend to be easily gassy. That sort of thing. And then yeah, green tea extract might work really well for me.
Bottom Line:We did an article about supplements and your liver and potential liver damage, and in fact, green tea extract was one of the items that you called out in that article as being dangerous to the liver. What do people need to be aware of?
Dr. Rubman:If the caloric intake is being dropped down below a certain point—and it’ll vary from one individual to another—and the real problem is with having enough of the materials that the liver needs to process the end products that are associated with the green tea and get them out of the body safely. With limited access to B vitamins…with not having enough bulk and fiber in the diet…problems can ensue with the liver with green tea extract.
Bottom Line:If somebody has a severely restrictive-calorie diet as a result of their weight loss, they might be on a strict diet and they’re trying green tea extract. If they do that, then they’re not getting enough nutrients, they’re not getting enough bulk.
Dr. RubmanAnd they’ll actually help their weight loss regime by supplying additional B vitamins and bulk and fiber, particularly like glucomannan, which happens to carry the fat and other things that are bound into what the liver is putting out and bring it out of the body.
Bottom Line:Green tea extract can help, in particular if you’re somebody that’s got an upset stomach. And then if you’re going to take green tea extract, then you should supplement with B vitamins.
Dr. RubmanAnd plenty of fiber. Glucomannan as a pill.
Bottom Line:Glucomannan is a fiber that’s also available – it’s taken as a supplement form?
Dr. Rubman:Right, right, and also marketed as a high-priced weight-loss supplement.
Bottom Line:All right. Thank you, Dr. Rubman.
Dr. Rubman:You’re welcome.