The impact of decaffeinated green tea extract on fat oxidation, body composition and cardio-metabolic health in overweight, recreationally active individuals

Justin D. Roberts, Ashley G.B. Willmott, Liam Beasley, Mariette Boal, Rory Davies, Laurence Martin, Havovi Chichger, Lata Gautam, Juan Del Coso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (SciVal)


This study investigated the effect of decaffeinated green tea extract (dGTE), with or without antioxidant nutrients, on fat oxidation, body composition and cardio-metabolic health measures in overweight individuals engaged in regular exercise. Twenty-seven participants (20 females, 7 males; body mass: 77.5 ± 10.5 kg; body mass index: 27.4 ± 3.0 kg·m2; peak oxygen uptake (V O2peak): 30.2 ± 5.8 mL·kg−1·min−1) were randomly assigned, in a double-blinded manner, either: dGTE (400 mg·d−1 (−)-epigallocatechin−3-gallate (EGCG), n = 9); a novel dGTE+ (400 mg·d−1 EGCG, quercetin (50 mg·d−1) and α-lipoic acid (LA, 150 mg·d−1), n = 9); or placebo (PL, n = 9) for 8 weeks, whilst maintaining standardised, aerobic exercise. Fat oxidation (‘FATMAX’ and steady state exercise pro-tocols), body composition, cardio-metabolic and blood measures (serum glucose, insulin, leptin, adiponectin, glycerol, free fatty acids, total cholesterol, high [HDL-c] and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-c], triglycerides, liver enzymes and bilirubin) were assessed at baseline, week 4 and 8. Following 8 weeks of dGTE+, maximal fat oxidation (MFO) significantly improved from 154.4 ± 20.6 to 224.6 ± 23.2 mg·min−1 (p = 0.009), along with a 22.5% increase in the exercise intensity at which fat oxidation was deemed negligible (FATMIN; 67.6 ± 3.6%V O2peak, p = 0.003). Steady state exercise substrate utilisation also improved for dGTE+ only, with respiratory exchange ratio reducing from 0.94 ± 0.01 at week 4, to 0.89 ± 0.01 at week 8 (p = 0.004). This corresponded with a significant increase in the contribution of fat to energy expenditure for dGTE+ from 21.0 ± 4.1% at week 4, to 34.6 ± 4.7% at week 8 (p = 0.006). LDL-c was also lower (normalised fold change of −0.09 ± 0.06) for dGTE+ by week 8 (p = 0.038). No other significant effects were found in any group. Eight weeks of dGTE+ improved MFO and substrate utilisation during exercise, and lowered LDL-c. However, body composition and cardio-metabolic markers in healthy, overweight individuals who main-tained regular physical activity were largely unaffected by dGTE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number764
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: This study was supported by Biocare Ltd. (UK), with provision of nutritional products.

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by Biocare Ltd (UK) for consumable and analytical costs only. The APC was funded by Anglia Ruskin University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Body fat
  • Exercise
  • Fat oxidation
  • Green tea extract
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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