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Springerplus. 2016 Aug 18;5(1):1363. doi: 10.1186/s40064-016-3029-0. eCollection 2016.

Daily ingestion of catechin-rich beverage increases brown adipose tissue density and decreases extramyocellular lipids in healthy young women.

Author information

Division of Preventive Medicine, Clinical Research Institute, National Hospital Organization Kyoto Medical Center, 1-1 Mukaihata-cho, Fukakusa, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto 612-8555 Japan.
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Tokyo Medical University, 6-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8402 Japan.
Faculty of Sports and Health Science, Daito Bunka University, 1-9-1 Takashimadaira, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 175-8571 Japan.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Kita 18, Nishi 9, Kita-ku, Sapporo, 060-0818 Japan.
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Mukogawa Women's University, 6-46, Ikebiraki-cho, Nishinomiya, 663-8558 Japan.
Department of Sports Medicine for Health Promotion Tokyo Medical University, 6-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8402 Japan.
Graduate School of Sport and Health Science, Ritsumeikan University, 1-1-1 Nojihigashi, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577 Japan.
Hokkaido University, Kita 8, Nishi 5, Kita-ku, Sapporo, 060-0808 Japan.
Contributed equally



Brown adipose tissue (BAT) contributes to the regulation of non-shivering thermogenesis and adiposity. Increasing BAT has recently attracted much attention as a countermeasure to obesity. Animal studies have shown that prolonged catechin treatment increases uncoupling protein 1, a thermogenic protein in BAT. On the other hand, supportable evidence in human is lacking. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine whether BAT increases after catechin ingestion in humans.


Twenty-two healthy young women were given either a catechin-rich (540 mg/day; catechin) or placebo beverage every day for 12 weeks in a double-blind design. BAT density was measured using near-infrared time-resolved spectroscopy (NIRTRS), visceral fat area were measured using magnetic resonance imaging, extramyocellular lipids (EMCL) using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and body fat mass using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans.


BAT density was significantly increased (18.8 %), and EMCL was decreased (17.4 %) after the 12-week ingestion. There was a significant negative correlation between the changes in BAT density and those in EMCL (r = -0.66, P < 0.05). There were no notable changes in other parameters.


In conclusion, prolonged ingestion of a catechin-rich beverage increases the BAT density in parallel with a decrease in EMCL.


Brown adipose tissue (BAT); Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS); Noninvasive

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