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Oolong (Wu-Long) Tea Natural Fat Burner – How Does Oolong Tea help you Lose Weight?

Updated on May 9, 2011

Since ancient times It has been well known that tea has some exceptional health benefits, and in particular three types of tea, green tea, oolong tea, and black tea. In fact, all types of tea are produced from one plant species called Camellia sinensis , but the difference in taste, colour and health benefits are a result from the difference in their preparation. Oolong tea is semi-fermented, green tea is unfermented, and black tea is well fermented [1].

Oolong tea is a worldwide favourite when it comes to dieting and weight loss and some of its weight loss benefits will be mentioned below.

Reduces Fat Absorption

One of Oolong tea’s most impressive properties is that it has the potential to reduce fat absorption. On tests with mice subjected to fatty foods, it was shown that Oolong Tea prevented the mice from becoming obese and also prevented fatty liver. It was found that the caffeine in Oolong tea enhanced lipolysis induced by the hormone noradrenaline. It was also found that Oolong Tea inhibited pancreatic lipases activity [2]. Inhibition of pancreatic lipase activity means that fat can’t be digested effectively and a portion of this fat is removed from the body.

In other studies the extent of this reduced digestion of fat was studied through the analysis of fecal matter provided by individuals on a high fat diet whilst consuming Oolong tea. The analysis showed that their feces contained a massive content of fat at 21% compared to 13% fat in feces off individuals who weren’t drinking Oolong Tea. [3] This shows that Oolong tea really does help in the reduction of fat digestion, and could be useful for weight loss.

The many antioxidant polyphenols in Teas are thought to be the major contributors to teas health benefits. In Green tea Epigallocatechin gallate, EGCG, is though to be the most important polyphenol for it health benefits including weight loss, but studies with Oolong tea, which also contains EGCG show that other polyphenols such as proanthocyanidins, oolonghomobisflavans, theasinensins, and theaflavins, were more responsible for pancreatic lipase inhibition than EGCG [1]. This means that Oolong tea may be better for weight loss and fat reduction that Green tea.

Increases Metabolism

Other than reduced fat absorption, studies show that Oolong Tea can increase your Resting Energy Expenditure (REE), the amount of calories a person can burn in a day without any strenuous activity, by a significant 10% post consumption and Green Tea by 4%. This increase in REE could be the result of Oolong tea’s polymerized polyphenols which are in a very high concentration, over three times that of Green tea [4].

An increase in REE is an increase in metabolism and is associated with an increase in weight loss [5].

If not a result of polymerised polyphenols, the increases in REE would be most probably a result of the high caffeine content of Oolong tea.

Caffeine’s effect on metabolic rate has been well studied and documented. A number of studies show that 200 mg of caffeine or higher can increase metabolic rate.

An interesting finding is that with caffeine consumption, Energy expenditure does not return to a baseline until a few hours post consumption [6], so the increase in metabolism may last for a long duration.


Consumption of Oolong Tea on a regular basis may have many health benefits including anti-aging, skin health, anti-cancer actions and so on, but it’s benefits in weight loss and weight management seem to have the most attention.

Regular consumption of this amazing tea can enhance lipolysis induced by the hormone noradrenaline, can reduce pancreatic lipase activity meaning portions of your fat intake won’t be absorbed by your body and it also can speed up your metabolism by increasing your Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) and Energy Expenditure.

All these benefits combined could very well promote weight loss/fat loss and aid in weight management.


[1] Nakai, M., Fukui, Y., Asami, S., Toyoda-Ono, Y., Iwashita, T., Shibata, H., Mitsunaga, T., Hashimoto, F., and Kiso, Y. (2005). Inhibitory Effects of Oolong Tea Polyphenols on Pancreatic Lipase in Vitro. J. Agric. Food Chem. 53, 11: 4593–4598.

[2] Han, L.K., Takaku, T., Li, J., Kimura, Y. and Okuda, H. (1999). Anti-obesity action of oolong tea. International Journal of Obesity, 23, 1: 98-105.

[3] Hsu, T.F., Kusumoto, A., Abe, K., Hosoda, K., Kiso, Y., Wang, M.F. and Yamamoto, S. (2006). Polyphenol-enriched oolong tea increases fecal lipid excretion. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 60, 1330–1336.

[4] Komatsu, T., Nakamori, M., Komatsu, K., Hosoda, K, Okamura, M.,Toyama, K., Ishikura, Y., Sakai, T., Kunii, D. and Yamamoto, S. (2003). Oolong tea increases energy metabolism in Japanese female. The Journal of Medical Investigation, Vol. 50

[5] Inoue, N., Matsunaga, Y., Satoh, H. and Takahashi, M. (2007). Enhanced Energy Expenditure and fat Oxidation in Humans with BMI Scores by the Ingestion of Novel and Non-Pungent Capsaicin Analogues (Capsinoids). Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem. 72, 2: 380-389.

[6] Rumpler, R., Seale, J., Clevidence, B., Judd, J., Wiley, E., Yamamoto, S., Komatsu, T., Sawaki, T., Ishikura, Y. and Hosoda, K. (2001. Oolong Tea Increases Metabolic Rate and Fat Oxidation in Men. The American Society for Nutritional SciencesJ. Nutr. 131: 2848-2852.


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