Green tea extract combined with exercise can significantly reduce the severity of obesity-related fatty liver disease, according to a new study on mice by us researchers. The findings were recently published in the American journal of nutritional biochemistry.
Researchers at Pennsylvania state university put mice on a high-fat diet on a caffeine-free green tea extract for 16 weeks and ran regularly on a treadmill. The results showed that the lipid deposits in their livers were only a quarter of those of the control mice, which did not eat green tea extract and did not exercise regularly. In mice that ate only green tea extract or exercised regularly, the livers had about half the lipid deposits of the control mice.
In addition to looking at mouse liver tissue, the researchers also analyzed the amount of protein and fat in the mice’s feces, and found that mice that ate green tea extract and exercised regularly had higher levels of lipids and proteins in their feces.
Joshua lambert, associate professor of food science at Penn state university and corresponding author of the paper, believes this is because the polyphenols in green tea interact with digestive enzymes secreted by the small intestine, partially inhibiting the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in food, while some of the undigested fat, for example, is excreted in the stool.
The study also found that the combination of green tea extract and exercise increased the expression of genes involved in the formation of new mitochondria in mice, which could help to explore the mechanism by which the combination of green tea extract and exercise alleviates fatty liver disease.
Lambert cautioned that there have been no clinical trials to confirm the health benefits of combining green tea with exercise, so people should be cautious when trying out health strategies. But he said he believes it’s wise to get more exercise and replace high-calorie drinks with caffeine-free green tea.