"Teavigo can contribute to a weight loss program, thereby reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome," said DSM's Frank Thielecke.
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a condition characterised by central obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism. The syndrome has been linked to increased risks of both type 2 diabetes and CVD.
Fifteen per cent of adult Europeans are estimated to be affected by MetS, while the US statistic is estimated to be a whopping 32 per cent. Obesity is established to be the main risk factor for MetS.
Green tea is a rich source of catechins, compounds suggested to play a beneficial role in reducing the risk of various diseases, including Alzheimer's, certain cancers, cardiovascular and oral health, with some, namely epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), now emerging as particularly powerful.Previous in vitro and in vivo studies have reported that DSM's high-purity EGCG product, Teavigo, could help with weight loss, and three mechanisms were proposed: EGCG could increase energy metabolism and fatty acid oxidation; inhibit fat cell development (apidogenesis); and/or reduce lipid absorption and increase fat excretion.
Attendees at the Geneva PalExpo centre heard Thielecke reveal results of a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled , cross-over pilot trial involving 10 healthy but overweight/obese volunteers (BMI 27-35 kg per square metre) receiving supplements of Teavigo, caffeine, both, or placebo.
Subjects were assigned to one of five supplementation groups: 300 mg Teavigo; 600 mg Teavigo; 200 mg caffeine; 300 mg Teavigo plus 200 mg caffeine; or placebo.
At the start of the experiment, the participants received a supplement and were then analysed at rest for the next five hours. At the five hour mark the subjects were then given another supplement at half the dose of the originial, and an hour later were allowed to eat a meal.
Thielecke reported that the respiratory quotient (RQ) - a measure of metabolism - of the participants receiving the 300 mg EGCG supplement was more improved than for the 600 mg dose group. This result was different from previous in vivo animal studies which had reported a dose-dependent effect.
Interestingly, the EGCG plus caffeine combination was the most potent of all the interventions, particularly after eating (post-prandial), which questions DSM's removal of practically all the caffeine from the Teavigo product.
However, the average caffeine intake in Europe is already 400 mg per day, said Thielecke, which is already sufficient to compliment the high purity EGCG.
This synergy between the EGCG and the caffeine, stressed Thielecke, was indicative that for EGCG to aid weight loss, the green tea extract needs a stimulated nervous system to act.
Additional trials have also shown that the green tea extract may improve flow mediated dilation of blood vessels by improving endothelial function (the lining of blood vessels), which could also help reduce the risk of MetS.