Catechins in Obesity: Is there a relationship?

Tempo de Leitura: 2 minutos

Obesity is a prevalent health problem in the modern world, that is, it has reached epidemic proportions in the last five decades. Obesity is a multifactorial disease that has a variety of causes. This is a chronic disease characterized by the accumulation of excess adipose tissue, being usually defined based on body mass index (BMI), that is, when it has values greater than 30 kg/m².

This disease can be subdivided into central (visceral) obesity and subcutaneous obesity. When centralized, represents a higher health risk, as it relates to a higher risk of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Among the current treatment options, one of them is related to changes in diet in order to establish a negative energy balance.

Therefore, chronic inflammation is a common characteristic present in obesity. That is, obesity is commonly caused by excessive calorie consumption and lack of physical activity, thus to tolerate overnutrition the adipose tissue expands, as effect are observed changes in the secretion patterns of adipokines, bioactive molecules released by adipose tissue, play a crucial role in regulating systemic metabolism and inflammation.

A consequence of this inflammatory profile is the formation of reactive oxygen species (REOs), and when it exceeds antioxidant defenses, oxidative stress occurs, which can result in a variety of pathophysiological situations. With this, studies show a possible role of catechin in the context of obesity.

Catechins: Antioxidant Effects

The literature indicates that catechins have an impact on neuroendocrine metabolic regulators of appetite and thus decrease food intake. In addition to that they are also associated with the reduction of the process of emulsion and absorption of lipids and proteins in the gastric tract and, therefore, decrease the consumption of calories.

In addition to the effects listed above,catechins showed a possible effect on the gastrointestinal microbiota, that is, they are associated with the production of short fatty acids, which increase lipid metabolism, in addition to restricting the differentiation and proliferation of pre-adipocytes.

In humans, scientists study green tea and its extract – by abundantly possessing three types of catechins – teas rich in catechins and other sources of catechins to: increase energy expenditure, increase fatty acid oxidation and thermogenesis and reduce fat absorption. For example, in a randomized double-blind study the effects of high doses of green tea extract indicated significant weight loss, as well as decrease in BMI and waist circumference in the treatment group after 12 weeks.

Moreover, plant polyphenols, including catechins found in tea, have antioxidant properties that can reduce populations of reactive oxidative stress and reduce inflammation in people affected by obesity.

Clinical practice

To date, there is little clinical research in humans to demonstrate the therapeutic benefits of catechins in the prevention and control of obesity, as well as the mechanisms of action by which catechins can help in weight loss or control are not understood.

Therefore, there are no indications in the literature for catechin supplementation! However, foods rich in antioxidants can be acquired by diet such as fruits, vegetables, vegetables, seeds and grains.

Bibliographic references

Reading suggestion: What
role of omega 3 in obesity and metabolic syndrome?

Watch the video on Science Play with Bruno César:
Hormonal Changes in Obesity
Catechins and Obesity
C: Basu T, Selman A, Reddy AP, Reddy PH. Current Status of Obesity: Protective Role of Catechins. Antioxidants. 2023; 12(2):474.

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