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Good news for tea lovers, especially connoisseurs of black tea. UCLA researchers have found that this more oxidized type of tea, specifically the English Breakfast blend, can boost your metabolism and promote weight loss. A new study has found that in addition to relaxing blood vessels (a fact already been proven about this type of tea), drinking black tea can be directly linked to weight loss because of its ability to encourage the growth of a special metabolism-boosting bacteria.

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In the new study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, researchers outlined how they found that black tea can be just as effective as green tea in weight-loss efforts. In order to measure the effectiveness of green and black tea, they gave four groups of mice different diets, two of which contained black and green tea. The groups were given a low-fat, high-sugar diet; a high-fat, high-sugar diet; a high-fat, high-sugar and green tea extract diet; and a high-fat, high-sugar and black tea extract diet.

Following a four-week period, researchers found that of the four groups, the two groups given the black and green tea extracts experienced the same amount of weight loss as the low-fat, high-sugar group. Researchers found that the mice who were given black tea had a raised level of pseudobutyrivibrio, a bacterium that grows in the gut, which changed the energy metabolism in their livers.

Lead study author and adjunct professor at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, Dr. Susan Henning, says these findings helped to show that black tea can be just as beneficial as green tea for overall health, but in an entirely different way. “It was known that green tea polyphenols are more effective and offer more health benefits than black tea polyphenols since green tea chemicals are absorbed into the blood and tissue,” she said. “Our new findings suggest that black tea, through a specific mechanism through the gut microbiome, may also contribute to good health and weight loss in humans.”

Tatiana Bido , Special Projects Editor