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The Skinny on Slimming Tea

Dear Sugar
I was just wondering if there are any dangers in drinking slimming tea. I was thinking about buying Wu-Long Tea. It seems expensive, but if it actually works like it says on the web site, I'm all for it. I also drink about 3 cups of green tea per day. Do you think that is too much? Also, can you please take a look at the Herbal Watch website to help me understand what these warnings are about? Thanks. Tea Devotee

Dear Tea Devotee
Green and black teas are produced from a plant called the Camellia sinensis. As green tea is manufactured, the leaves are picked and rapidly heated to paralyze and kill enzymes and to prevent fermentation. Green tea contains chemicals called polyphenols which contain flavonols, flavonoids and phenolic acid. Flavonols are the most important polyphenols in green tea - and the most important flavonol is called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG. EGCG is suspected of boosting metabolisms and can burn up to 12% more fat then for those who drink regular caffeinated tea (they are also full of great antioxidants). These are the benefits of Oolong (or Wulong) Tea. The drawbacks are that there are no regulated dosages for herbal supplements and that herbal supplement abuse is possible when users take large doses in combination with other substances such as alcohol or drugs. Fenfluramine is the ingredient from your herbal watch article that you need to be weary of. It mentions evidence of fenfluramine in Chinese diet pills, but not in herbal teas. You should look at the packaging or even write to the company to make sure there are no traces of this in the tea. There is lots of evidence supporting that green tea has beneficial health effects, but a great deal of additional research still needs to be done to determine how helpful vs. harmful it is. It is up to you whether or not you want to wait and see what else scientists find. In my opinion - everything in moderation.

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