Physiological effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) on energy expenditure for prospective fat oxidation in humans: A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Nutr Biochem. 2017 May:43:1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2016.10.013. Epub 2016 Nov 2.


Green tea catechins (GTCs) are known to improve fat oxidation (FOX) during fasted, rested and exercise conditions wherein epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is thought to be the most pharmacologically active and has been studied extensively. From the available data of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on EGCG, we carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis to elucidate whether EGCG consumption indeed increase energy expenditure (EE) and promote FOX. A systematic review of the literature was conducted using electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, JICST, JSTPLUS, and JMEDPLUS and others) and eight RCTs were included. RCTs were reviewed using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines and methodological quality was assessed. After data extraction, results were aggregated using fixed- and random-effect approaches and expressed to quantify the relationship between the dose of EGCG for respiratory quotient (RQ), EE and rate of FOX to compare the EGCG and placebo treatments. The meta-analysis results of verities of studies in terms of dose and length of duration revealed that EGCG supplementation provided significant mean difference (MD) when compared with placebo for RQ [MD: -0.02; 95% confidence intervals (95% CI), -0.04 to 0.00; I2=67%; P=.01] and EE [MD: 158.05 kJ/day; 95% CI, 4.72 to 311.38; I2=0%; P=.04] in fixed-effect approach. Changes in FOX did not reach the level of statistical significance. Meta-analyses of EGCG influence on the body mass index, waist circumference and total body fat mass (TBFM) were also examined and their impact on the promotion of FOX is reported. Effect of EGCG doses was also systematically reviewed. Finding showed that EGCG intake moderately accelerates EE and reduces RQ. The analyses revealed that the EGCG resulted in difference in RQ and EE but the effect on the other measures of energy metabolism was relatively mild. Possibly, EGCG alone has the potential to increase metabolic rate at 300 mg dose. Collectively, the outcome supports the findings that EGCG has an effect on metabolic parameters. However, the large prospective trials are needed to confirm the findings.

Keywords: Catechins; Energy expenditure; Epigallocatechin-3-gallate; Fat oxidation; Respiratory quotient.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Catechin / administration & dosage
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Oxidation-Reduction


  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate