Green Tea Diet: What You Need to Know

Could a cup of green tea help you lose weight? See more weight loss tips pictures.

"Lose 20 pounds in 20 days!" "Trim inches off your waistline with one easy pill!" With seemingly miraculous guarantees like these, who wouldn't want to give diet pills a try? But with so many diets, supplements and pills to choose from, it's easy to get overwhelmed by choices. What really works? What's worth your money? And, most importantly, what's actually safe and healthful to be putting into your body?

This last question -- and the fact that more and more studies are claiming certain supplements and chemicals can cause more harm than good to your body -- has been pushing people toward the use of gentler, more natural weight loss supplements. As a result, green tea has gained popularity as a safe, effective weight loss aid.

For centuries, certain cultures -- especially those in China and Japan -- have been drinking tea for its health benefits. Among tea choices, green tea has been especially noted for its positive antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and metabolic properties. Many of these benefits are due to its high amounts of polyphenols, especially a certain polyphenol called EGCG. Because they contain potent antioxidant properties, polyphenols are thought to help the body's immune system, protecting cells against disease-causing free radicals [source: University of Maryland Medical Center]. Thanks to this composition of chemicals, green tea has been said to protect against everything from cancer to high cholesterol to heart disease. And some even claim that EGCG may boost the metabolism, suppress appetite and even burn fat.

But will this healthful supplement really help you drop those pounds? Read on to find out how green tea is used in diet pills.