Effects of black tea on body composition and metabolic outcomes related to cardiovascular disease risk: a randomized controlled trial

Food Funct. 2014 Jul 25;5(7):1613-20. doi: 10.1039/c4fo00209a.


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.

Objective: To explore the non-caffeine associated effects of black tea on body weight and body fat distribution, and cardiovascular disease related metabolic outcomes.

Design: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusion: 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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Body Composition / drug effects*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Camellia sinensis / chemistry*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Endothelium / drug effects
  • Endothelium / metabolism
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Tea / chemistry*
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Waist Circumference / drug effects


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tea
  • Triglycerides