Tea, obesity, and diabetes

Yung Hsi Kao, Hsin Huei Chang, Meng Jung Lee, Chia Lin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

296 Scopus citations


Tea has been found to possess widespread biological functions based on a variety of laboratory data. The effects of tea on obesity and diabetes have received increasing attention. This paper reviews the evidence for the connections among tea catechins, and obesity and diabetes. Tea catechins, especially (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), appear to have antiobesity and antidiabetic effects. While few epidemiological and clinical studies show the health benefits of EGCG on obesity and diabetes, the mechanisms of its actions are emerging based on the various laboratory data. These mechanisms may be related to certain pathways, such as through the modulations of energy balance, endocrine systems, food intake, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, the redox status, and activities of different types of cells (i.e., fat, liver, muscle, and beta;-pancreatic cells). Because the EGCG receptor, the so-called 67-kDa laminin receptor (LR), has been discovered with colocalization of other types of LR and cytoskeleton in both cancer cells and normal cells, this may explain that EGCG possesses numerous actions. The mechanistic results of this review may possibly be utilized in the treatment of obesity, diabetes, and other related diseases using tea- and EGCG-based folk medicines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-210
Number of pages23
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Diabetes
  • Epigallocatechin gallate
  • Kinase
  • Obesity
  • Tea


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