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Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):778-84.

Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans.

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  • 1Human Performance Laboratory, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, The University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom.



Green tea consumption is reportedly associated with various health-promoting properties. For example, it has been shown to promote fat oxidation in humans at rest and to prevent obesity and improve insulin sensitivity in mice.


We investigated the effects of acute ingestion of green tea extract (GTE) on glucose tolerance and fat oxidation during moderate-intensity exercise in humans.


Two studies were performed, both with a counter-balanced crossover design. In study A, 12 healthy men performed a 30-min cycling exercise at 60% of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) before and after supplementation. In study B, 11 healthy men took an oral-glucose-tolerance test before and after supplementation. In the 24-h period before the experimental trials, participants ingested 3 capsules containing either GTE (total: 890 +/- 13 mg polyphenols and 366 +/- 5 mg EGCG) or a corn-flour placebo (total: 1729 +/- 22 mg).


Average fat oxidation rates were 17% higher after ingestion of GTE than after ingestion of placebo (0.41 +/- 0.03 and 0.35 +/- 0.03 g/min, respectively; P < 0.05). Moreover, the contribution of fat oxidation to total energy expenditure was also significantly higher, by a similar percentage, after GTE supplementation. The insulin area under the curve decreased in both the GTE and placebo trials (3612 +/- 301 and 4280 +/- 309 microIU/dL . 120 min, respectively; P < 0.01), and there was a concomitant increase of 13% in insulin sensitivity.


Acute GTE ingestion can increase fat oxidation during moderate-intensity exercise and can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in healthy young men.

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