A more complex kind of tea
There hasn't been as much research done into the health benefits of oolong tea as there has with green tea, however that doesn't mean the results from trials to date are not impressive. One potential reason is that oolong tea has not been as popular as green tea nor as widely known until recently. Another is the fact that oolong contains the full range of antioxidants found in tea, namely catechins, thearubigins and theaflavins. This fact combined with the varying range at which oolong teas are left to oxidise (anywhere from 10%-70%) makes oolong tea a more complex tea to conduct trials with. However as with most things, where there's a will there's a way and we list the trials referred to for your reference below.
The hot topic of oolong tea and 'weight loss'
As with green tea, a number of studies have been conducted to assess drinking oolong tea and its effect on the metabolism and body fat. In summary, oolong tea has been shown to burn fat by stimulating a process known as lipolysis,( a process where fat [triglyceride] in fat cells is broken down to supply energy to other parts of the body) increasing the metabolism and by reducing the absorption of dietary fat. Experts agree the idea should not be to 'lose weight' as such but to burn excess body fat and increase muscle using a combination of regular healthy eating, weights and exercise. As part of your healthy lifestyle, oolong tea can be a welcome addition to help you to burn fat.
Does oolong tea burn fat better than green tea?
One study suggests oolong tea burns more calories than green tea, however there is some debate about its conclusions as the duration of the study was very short, the number of participants low and the methodology questioned by other scientific experts. It is safe to say thatboth green tea and oolong tea have shown in studies to provide fat burning and metabolic benefits. Of course that's great for us tea drinkers as we can partake of both types of tea and still reap the benefits!
Other health benefits of oolong tea
As with green tea, there are other areas where oolong tea has been reported to provide significant health benefits. These are listed as follows:
- helps reduce blood concentrations of fat (triglycerides)
- helps reduce cholesterol
- helps reduce blood pressure
- has beneficial effects on progression of atherosclerosis
- good for skin disorder recalcitrant AD
- helps prevents tooth decay
- complements diabetes treatments
Which oolong tea should you drink?
Quite simply, ones you like! It's important if you want to start drinking oolong tea as part of your healthy lifestyle that you find ones you enjoy. The quality of the tea is very important too.
Here at the Jenier Tea House we have a wide range of high quality oolong and flavoured oolong teas. They all have different tastes so we're confident if you try some you'll find ones you enjoy.
Han LK, Takaku T, Li J, Kimura Y, Okuda H (1999). Anti-obesity action of oolong tea. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders. 1999 Jan;23(1):98-105.
Kenichi Yanagimoto, Hirotomo Ochi, Kwang-Geun Lee, and Takayuki Shibamoto (2003). Antioxidative Activities of Volatile Extracts from Green Tea, Oolong Tea, and Black Tea. J. Agric. Food Chem., 51 (25), 7396 -7401.
Uehara M, Sugiura H, Sakurai K (2001). A trial of oolong tea in the management of recalcitrant atopic dermatitis. Arch Dermatol. 2001 Jan;137(1):42-3.
Kazuaki Hosoda, Ming-Fu Wang, Mei-Ling Liao, Chin-Kuang Chuang, Miyuki Iha, Beverly Clevidence, and Shigeru Yamamoto (2003). Antihyperglycemic Effect of Oolong Tea in Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care 26:1714-1718, 2003.
Yang YC et all (2004). The protective effect of habitual tea consumption on hypertension. Archives of Internal Medicine 164:1534-1540.
K Nakahara, S Kawabata, H Ono, K Ogura, T Tanaka, T Ooshima, and S Hamada (1993). Inhibitory effect of oolong tea polyphenols on glycosyltransferases of mutans Streptococci. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1993 April; 59(4): 968-973.
Shimada K, Kawarabayashi T, Tanaka A, Fukuda D, Nakamura Y, Yoshiyama M, Takeuchi K, Sawaki T, Hosoda K, Yoshikawa J. (2004). Oolong tea increases plasma adiponectin levels and low-density lipoprotein particle size in patients with coronary artery disease. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2004 Sep;65(3):227-34.
Hsu TF, Kusumoto A, Abe K, Hosoda K, Kiso Y, Wang MF, Yamamoto S. Polyphenol-enriched oolong tea increases fecal lipid excretion. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 Nov;60(11):1330-6.
Lauren Elyse Budd, Judith S Stern, Robert M Hackman, Seung-Jin Ma and Hyunju Choi. Oolong Tea Reduces Food Intake, Body Weight, and Body Fat in Spontaneously Obese Rats. The FASEB Journal. 2007;21:842.7.
Komatsu T, Nakamori M, Komatsu K, Hosoda K, Okamura M, Toyama K, Ishikura Y, Sakai T, Kunii D, Yamamoto S (2003). Oolong tea increases energy metabolism in Japanese females. The journal of medical investigation : JMI. 2003 Aug;50(3-4):170-5.