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Thursday, March 19

You Are What You Eat!

One former graduate student suspects that a respected biochemistry text might have slowed realization of the connection between green tea and weight loss. Almost thirty years ago, one biochemistry text included detailed information on the energy gradient within a living cell. As explained in that text, the cell's energy gradient uses a chemical called ADP to store potential energy.

When a muscle needs energy, the muscle cells change the ADP into ATP.

The ATP supplies the energy needed for muscle movement. The production of ATP requires inhibition of a special biochemical pathway. The functioning of that pathway can come under the influence of certain chemicals, chemicals such as those found in green tea leaves.

That particular pathway can be stimulated by the presence of chemicals called catechinpolyphenols. Such polyphenols can be found in green tea leaves, leaves that are steamed before they are packaged for sale. Because green tea leaves contain those special polyphenols, there is a definite connection between green tea drinking and weight loss.

A person who drinks green tea enhances the ability of his or her cells to carry out thermogenesis. That is the process by which a cell can create heat. It is a process that can be stimulated by the drinking of green tea. The polyphenols in the green tea act on the fatty acids inside of the fat storage cells.

In the presence of polyphenols, such as those in green tea, the fatty acids in the cells prevent inhibition of the biochemical pathway that yields the special protein mentioned above. Cells that had previously failed to produce that special protein start to make that same protein. The presence of that protein in a cell causes movement of hydrogen ions (H+) into the cell's mitochondria.

When a cell permits movement of H+ into the mitochondria, it bypasses the path used to complete ATP synthesis. Instead of using energy for movement, the cell uses energy to make heat. That process is called thermogenesis. Because it is a fat-burning process, it requires the expenditure of calories. That then explains why the drinking of green tea can help a person to loose weight.

The reader might wonder why only green tea has the ability to enhance the calorie-burning ability of a living cell. The answer to that puzzle can be found in the various methods for tea preparation. Most tea is fermented before it is packaged for sale. The fermentation process destroys the polyphenols. Green tea, however, is steamed before packaging. That allows the polyphenols to retain their ability to hasten the use of the thermogenic process.

Green tea leaves can be described as a thermogenic plant food. A dieter who wants to loose weight by drinking green tea should look for leaves from the first harvest. Those are the best leaves.

A dieter who hopes to use green tea for weight loss should know that some teas are difficult to prepare. A dieter who has a busy schedule might want to purchase a box of tea bags, tea bags made from green tea leaves. -Orlando Pena

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