According to the American Liver Foundation, a condition called fatty liver occurs when excess fat in liver cells makes up more than ten percent of the liver’s overall weight. This condition can lead to serious complications and is estimated to affect 10-24 percent of people around the world and perhaps as many as 75 percent of obese people. Among the recommendations for controlling fatty liver, losing weight, lowering triglycerides, exercising and avoiding alcohol.
One study found that green tea might be a worthwhile preventive measure for this condition. Results of the research were published in the Journal of Nutrition. Over a six-week period, researchers fed lean and obese mice green tea extract (GTE) in varying amounts and compared the results.
Obese mice given supplements had 23 to 25 per cent less body weight than obese mice not given supplements. Lean mice given supplements had 11 to 20 per cent less body weight than lean mice not given supplements. Blood enzymes such as alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase, which often indicate liver damage, were lowered by 30 to 41 per cent in the obese mice fed GTE and 22 to 33 per cent in the lean mice fed GTE.
Researchers noted that there was no significant difference in food intake between groups. This indicates that GTE might decrease intestinal fat absorption or alter liver fat metabolism. The amount of GTE in the study was the equivalent, for a human, of drinking as much as seven cups of green tea daily.
A study published in the journal Gastroenterology discovered that drinking two or more cups of tea or coffee daily might help lower the risk of chronic liver disease by as much as half for high risk individuals. In 2002, other researchers also found that green tea extract might be useful in treating fatty liver disease. In 1999, Japanese researchers found that oolong tea might be helpful in treating obesity and fatty liver caused by a high-fat diet.
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