Nutraceuticals for body-weight management: The role of green tea catechins

Physiol Behav. 2016 Aug 1:162:83-7. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.01.044. Epub 2016 Feb 1.


Green tea catechins mixed with caffeine have been proposed as adjuvants for maintaining or enhancing energy expenditure and for increasing fat oxidation, in the context of prevention and treatment of obesity. These catechins-caffeine mixtures seem to counteract the decrease in metabolic rate that occurs during weight loss. Their effects are of particular importance during weight maintenance after weight loss. Other metabolic targets may be fat absorption and the gut microbiota composition, but these effects still need further investigation in combination with weight loss. Limitations for the effects of green tea catechins are moderating factors such as genetic predisposition related to COMT-activity, habitual caffeine intake, and ingestion combined with dietary protein. In conclusion, a mixture of green tea catechins and caffeine has a beneficial effect on body-weight management, especially by sustained energy expenditure, fat oxidation, and preservation of fat free body-mass, after energy restriction induced body-weight loss, when taking the limitations into account.

Keywords: Body-weight maintenance; Energy expenditure; Fat absorption; Fat oxidation; Genetic predisposition; Gut microbiota.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects*
  • Body Weight / genetics
  • Caffeine / pharmacology
  • Catechin / administration & dosage*
  • Catechol O-Methyltransferase / genetics
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Fats / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology
  • Humans
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Tea / chemistry*


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Fats
  • Tea
  • Caffeine
  • Catechin
  • COMT protein, human
  • Catechol O-Methyltransferase