An aqueous methanol extract from green tea showed potent acetyl-CoA carboxylase inhibitory activity. An active compound was isolated from the extract and identified as (-)-epigallocatechin gallate by instrumental analyses. The IC50 value of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate was 3.1 x 10(-4) M. Among tea catechins and related compounds, nearly equal activity was found in (-)-epigallocatechin gallate and (-)-epicatechin gallate, whereas (+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin, (-)-epigallocatechin, gallic acid and methyl gallate each had no inhibitory activity. These results indicate that the 3-O-gallate group of the catechin structure was necessary for this activity. (-)-Epigallocatechin gallate inhibited triglyceride accumulation in 3T3-L1 cells at a concentration of 1.0 x 10(-7) M or higher.