As confetti and year-end revelry fades to a mere memory, legions of celebrants have begun regretting all the holiday confections they downed. A depressing trip to the scales has turned many to that age-old January tradition—dieting. Those needing a little extra help may want to add a new resolution this year: Drink green tea.
Japanese scientists have reported that both fish oil and the pungent compound responsible for chili peppers' bite will turn on fat oxidation—the chemical conversion of flab to heat.
European scientists now find that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a flavonoid in green tea, does the same thing.
Abdul G. Dulloo of the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and his colleagues studied energy expenditure in 10 men. On three separate days, the scientists gave the volunteers two capsules with each meal and then measured how much energy they burned over the next 24 hours. On one day, the supplements held caffeine. On other days, they cons