Anti-obesity effects of three major components of green tea, catechins, caffeine and theanine, in mice.In Vivo 2004 Jan-Feb; 18(1):55-62V
To elucidate the anti-obesity effects of three major components of green tea, catechins, caffeine and theanine, female ICR mice were fed on diets containing 2% green tea powder and diets containing 0.3% catechins, 0.05% caffeine and 0.03% theanine, which correspond, respectively, to their concentrations in a 2% green tea powder diet, singly and in combination for 16 weeks. Body weight and food intake were determined monthly during this period, kidneys, adrenals, liver, spleen, brain, pituitary and intraperitoneal adipose tissues (IPAT) were weighed and lipid levels in the serum and liver were measured at the end of this period. The body weight increase and weight of IPAT were significantly reduced by the diets containing green tea, caffeine, theanine, caffeine + catechins, caffeine + theanine and caffeine + catechins + theanine. Noticeably, the IPAT weight decreased by 76.8% in the caffeine + catechins compared to the control group. Serum concentrations of triglycerides (TG) and non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) were decreased by green tea, catechins and theanine. Moreover, caffeine + catechins, caffeine + theanine and caffeine + catechins + theanine also decreased NEFA in the serum. The TG level in the liver was significantly reduced by catechins and catechins + theanine in comparison with the control. These results indicated that at least caffeine and theanine were responsible for the suppressive effect of green tea powder (GTP) on body weight increase and fat accumulation. Moreover, it was shown that catechins and caffeine were synergistic in anti-obesity activities.