Anti-obesity effects of instant fermented teas in vitro and in mice with high-fat-diet-induced obesity

Food Funct. 2019 Jun 19;10(6):3502-3513. doi: 10.1039/c9fo00162j.


Obesity is a chronic metabolic disorder that is associated with higher risks of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Chinese dark tea is a fermented beverage with many biological effects and could be considered for the management of obesity. This study is aimed to assess the possible anti-obesity properties of instant dark tea (IDT) and instant pu-erh tea (PET) in high fat diet (HFD)-fed mice. Male C57BL/6 mice were divided into 5 groups. They received low-fat diet (LFD), HFD, HFD supplemented with drinking IDT infusion (5 mg mL-1), PET infusion (5 mg mL-1) or water for 8 weeks. The results showed IDT exhibited better inhibitory effect than PET on body weight gain and visceral fat weights. IDT also improved the serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) level, but decreased the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and leptin levels more effectively than PET. Both IDT and PET lowered the levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in the plasma and significantly increased the ratio of albumin to globin (A/G) in the serum compared to the control group. IDT treatment reduced the malondialdehyde (MDA) level in the liver. Histomorphology evidenced that the liver tissue architecture was well preserved by IDT administration. Moreover, IDT regulated the expression of obesity-related genes more effectively than PET. Overall, the present findings have provided the proof of concept that dietary IDT could provide a safer and cost-effective option for people with HFD-induced obesity.

MeSH terms

  • Alanine Transaminase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / metabolism*
  • Camellia sinensis / chemistry
  • Camellia sinensis / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, LDL / metabolism
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Fermented Foods and Beverages / analysis
  • Humans
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / metabolism
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / metabolism*
  • Tea / metabolism


  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Leptin
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tea
  • Alanine Transaminase