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Slimming on oolong

3:09pm, May 15, 2007

Without skimping on portions, rats eating diets including oolong tea gain less weight than those dining teafree, a new study finds. The tea apparently impairs the body's ability to absorb fat.

The finding supports a weight-control strategy—oolong consumption—advocated by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, note Lauren E. Budd and her colleagues at the University of California, Davis.

The researchers worked with a strain of adult female rats that spontaneously become obese on a normal diet. For 10 weeks, the team let the animals eat all they wanted but laced the chow of some with a dried extract of brewed tea. Although all the animals ate about the same amount, Budd says, those getting 2 and 4 percent of their food as tea extract by weight gained only about 40 and 20 grams, respectively, over the period. Rats consuming unsupplemented chow packed on roughly 120 grams each.

The 2 percent dose corresponds to the amount of solids in about six cup

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