TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Taiwanese scientists from National Chung Hsing University (NCHU) released their finding Wednesday that Pu'er tea can help stop gaining weight.
Pu'er tea is a product of microbial fermentation, and it is sometimes compared to a fine wine.
The university's biotechnology center spent ten years studying how Pu'er tea works to prevent weight gain, and the latest research reveals that the tea contains a high volume of strictinin, which in laboratory experiments had significantly reduced the blood triglyceride level and restrained adipocytes, also known as fat cells.
The team used mice to run experiments. In the study, levels of blood triglyceride were elevated in mice fed with a high-fat diet for two months, but that was later significantly reduced when strictinin was supplemented.
Blood triglyceride has been associated with long term effects of weight loss in previous studies. Lower levels of blood triglyceride can help sustain weight loss in the long term.
The team has published the result in the prestigious Journal of Functional Foods.
The lab confirmed that strictinin can effectively suppress the generation of pancreatic triglyceride lipase (PTL), which is responsible for digestion and absorption of dietary triglycerides in the small intestine to store fats that the body can use as energy, and the body will excrete an excess of undigested triglycerides in feces. Some weight-loss products on the market are designed based on a similar method by inhibiting the generation of PTL.
In the experiments on mice conducted by NCHU professor Dr. Chen Wen-ying (陳文英), she observed that levels of blood triglyceride were elevated in mice fed with a high-fat diet for two months, but that were later significantly reduced when strictinin was supplemented. Also, in addition to reducing the accumulation of body fat, it can help lower blood cholesterol and sugar levels.
Chen added that the function of strictinin is to improve intestinal transport and bowel movement, while it won't cause diarrhea.
The team also found that the levels of strictinin contained in Pu'er tea leaves vary a great deal in different environment.
"The tea produced from Pu'er tea leaves which come from ancient forests contains a far richer amount of strictinin than its counterparts from high elevated land," said Dr. Jason T. C. Tzen (曾志正), NCHU professor and lead researcher.
Dr. Jason T. C. Tzen (second from left) and Dr. Chen Wen-ying (far right) jointly issued the study result on Wednesday. (Image credit of NCHU)