There is increasing evidence that tea and its non-caffeine components (primarily flavonoids) contribute to cardiovascular health. Randomized controlled trials have shown that tea can improve cardiovascular disease risk factors. We have previously reported a non-caffeine associated beneficial effect of regular black tea consumption on blood pressure and its variation.
To explore the non-caffeine associated effects of black tea on body weight and body fat distribution, and cardiovascular disease related metabolic outcomes.
regular tea-drinking men and women (n = 111; BMI 20-35 kg m(-2)) were recruited to a randomized controlled double-blind 6 month parallel-designed trial. Participants consumed 3 cups per day of either powdered black tea solids (tea) or a flavonoid-free flavour- and caffeine-matched placebo (control). Body weight, waist- and hip-circumference, endothelial function and plasma biomarkers were assessed at baseline, 3 months and 6 months.
Compared to control, regular ingestion of black tea over 3 months inhibited weight gain (-0.64 kg, p = 0.047) and reduced waist circumference (-1.88 cm, P = 0.035) and waist-to-hip ratio (-0.03, P = 0.005). These effects were no longer significant at 6 months. There were no significant effects observed on fasting glucose, insulin, plasma lipids or endothelial function.
Our study suggests that short-term regular ingestion of black tea over 3 months can improve body weight and body fat distribution, compared to a caffeine-matched control beverage. However, there was no evidence that these effects were sustained beyond 3 months.