Herbal tea could ‘block’ the formation of fat cells

Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning

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The best way to reduce any visceral fat is through a combination of exercise and a healthy diet, but the addition of certain nutrients can advance these effects. Herbal teas, for instance, offer a wealth of nutritious compounds that protect against free radical damage linked to several conditions. Sometimes these chemicals interfere with the production of fat cells, leading to fat loss.

The main nutritional benefits of rooibos tea come mainly from its unique source of polyphenols.

Compounds like aspalathin, for example, have potent anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties.

The unique rooibos flavonoid also has established blood glucose-lowering properties, rendering it useful in the prevention of diabetes.

A growing area of interest is the role of the beverage in the prevention of fat cell formation.

Tea chemist and scientist Tim Bond, from the Tea Advisory Panel, previously explained: “Of course, there’s no replacement for a healthy diet and plenty of movement when it comes to losing weight, but rooibos could provide some extra support.”

Several studies suggest rooibos flavonoids may be particularly useful when it comes to burning fat around the abdominal region too.

Visceral fat is invisible to the eye but sometimes a ballooning belly is a strong indication that there’s fat in the abdominal cavity.

The fat layers that sit deep in the abdomen are more perilous because they secrete inflammatory markers.

Harvard Health explains: “As women go through their middle years, their proportion of fat to body weight tends to increase […].”

At this point, fat storage will start favouring the upper body over the hips and thighs.

“Even if you don’t actually gain weight, your waistline can grow by inches as visceral fat pushes out against the abdominal wall,” the health body adds.

In 2014, a study published in the journal Phyto-medicine established that regular consumption of rooibos tea could aid in blocking the production of new fat cells.

The findings specifically showed that rooibos stopped the formation of new fat cells and encouraged quick fat metabolism.

The findings also revealed a decrease in the secretion of leptin, the hormone that inhibits hunger and regulates energy balance.

During weight loss, leptin levels fall and signal to the hypothalamus to stimulate feeding and reduce energy expenditure.

All these qualities come from the beverages catechins, which are available in an array of other herbal drinks too.

An added benefit comes from increased energy use, which causes the body to burn more calories.

Researchers theorise that some of these fat-burning effects are equally important for keeping fat off.

Biological mechanisms like lipid metabolism, for example, are essential for managing weight once fat shedding has occurred.

WebMD explains: “Once you’ve lost weight, tea could help you keep it off by preventing the metabolism showdown that’s common after dropping a few pounds.”

In order to achieve promising results, research indicates it’s important to pair healthy beverages like rooibos tea with a healthy diet.

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