Does green tea extract enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise on fat loss?

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2020 Apr;86(4):753-762. doi: 10.1111/bcp.14176. Epub 2020 Feb 4.


Aims: Green tea extract (GTE) can exert antiobesity and anti-inflammatory effects. Our study determined whether the benefits of GTE are summative with exercise-induced changes in anthropometric indices, and the levels of inflammatory cytokines, adiponectin and irisin in inactive overweight women.

Methods: Thirty overweight female participants were randomized to 3 groups: endurance training + placebo (ET + P); endurance training + GTE (ET + GTE); and Control (no exercise) + placebo (Control, n = 10). The exercise intervention consisted of an 8-week endurance-training programme of 3 sessions per week (aerobics, aerobic circuit training, and fast walking or jogging at a moderate intensity of 40-59% of the heart rate reserve). The dose of GTE used was 500 mg/day in the form of a green tea capsule.

Results: Body weight, body mass index, waist to hip ratio and body fat percentage were decreased in both ET + P and ET + GTE interventions (P < .001 for both interventions). The reduction of anthropometric values in the ET + GTE group was significantly higher than ET + P interventions (P < .001). Both exercise interventions also significantly (P < .001) increased adiponectin (ET + GTE = 5.28 mg/mL [95% confidence interval {CI}, 4.48 to 6.08] and ET + P = 3.34 mg/mL [95% CI, 2.76 to 3.92]) and decreased high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP; ET + GTE = -0.95 mg/L [95% CI, -1.15 to -0.75] and ET + P = -0.35 mg/L [95% CI, -0.46 to -0.24]). Changes in adiponectin and hs-CRP were greater (P < .05) in ET + GTE compared to ET + P. There were no significant differences in irisin, interleukin-6 or tumour necrosis factor-α between the 3 groups (P > .05).

Conclusions: GTE improves exercise-induced body composition by further decreasing exercise-induced changes in weight, body mass index, waist to hip ratio and body fat percentage. The combination of GTE and exercise also produced greater changes in anti-inflammatory (increases in adiponectin) and metabolic (decreases in hs-CRP) markers than exercise alone.

Keywords: adiponectin, exercise, green tea, inflammation, irisin, obesity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Overweight / drug therapy
  • Plant Extracts* / pharmacology
  • Tea


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tea