Epidemiological studies have shown that intake of tea catechins is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The antioxidative activity of tea-derived catechins has been extensively studied. Reports have shown that green tea extract intake is associated with increased weight loss due to diet-induced thermogenesis, which is generally attributed to the catechin epigallocatechin gallate. That catechin-polyphenols are known to be capable of inhibiting catechol-O-methyltransferase (the enzyme that degrades norepinephrine) is a possible explanation for why the green tea extract is effective in stimulating thermogenesis by epigallocatechin gallate to augment and prolong sympathetic stimulation of thermogenesis. Knowledge about thermogenesis-induced weight loss produced by green tea's epigallocatechin gallate and its ability to inhibit catechol-O-methyltransferase is important for health benefits and for prolonging the action of norepinephrine in the synaptic cleft.
Shixian Q, VanCrey B, Shi J, Kakuda Y, Jiang Y. Green tea extract thermogenesis-induced weight loss by epigallocatechin gallate inhibition of catechol-O-methyltransferase. J Med Food. 2006 December South China Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China.