Is Dandelion Tea Effective for Weight Loss?
You’re here because you want a more athletic physique. You want toned legs and arms, washboard abs and fitness levels that match the way you look.
You’ve been working out and you’re seeing some progress – you’re definitely getting there.
But there’s just one thing missing – a good fat burning supplement to take you to the next level.
Could dandelion tea be the best choice?
In this article we take a look. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What is dandelion tea?
- Does it improve health?
- Can dandelion boost weight loss?
What is Dandelion?
Taraxacum officinale or dandelion is a type of flowering plant from the Asteraceae family.
Characterised by its hollow stem, bright yellow head and spherical seed ‘blowball’ when mature, dandelion comes from the French word dent-de-lion which means lion’s tooth.
It is also known as dudhal, dumble-dor, fairy clock and fortune teller.
Although many refer to the flower as a garden weed, it encourages pollination, provides nutrients to soil and releases gases that speed up ripening of nearby fruits.
Nutrient profile of dandelion
Dandelions are also edible wildflowers that have a number of species commonplace throughout the world.
The plant is a key ingredient in root beer and can be made into a tea by using the dried roots and leaves, infused in water to provide a deep-yellow fluid.
Dandelion is a low calorie food source that is extremely high in vitamin A, with 100 g providing over 200% of your daily value.
It provides fiber and a modest amount of the following nutrients:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
You’ll also find a number of bioactive plant phenols in dandelion. These include taraxacin, caffeic acid, pectin and a range of other phytochemicals.
Can Dandelion Tea Boost Health?
Dandelion tea is used in alternative medicine to treat a number of ailments.
And whilst there’s not much high-authority clinical evidence demonstrating the health benefits of dandelion, it has been said to improve digestive issues amongst other disorders.
It has been found to have a powerful diuretic and laxative effect too. This is more than likely due to the taraxacin content.
Some studies have found that the tea can lower blood sugar so may be useful for diabetics who have been cleared from their health professional to drink it. This is more than likely because of it’s diuretic potency.
Manufacturers of dandelion products make a number of other health claims, however these are often unsubstantiated and are back with no clinical research at all.
Key Point: Dandelion tea is a potent diuretic and has been shown to lower blood sugar in a few studies.
Does Dandelion Promote Weight Loss?
Dandelion tea is said to promote weight loss in a small number of ways:
- Detoxes the body
- Has a diuretic effect
- Inhibits adipogenesis
Does dandelion tea ‘detox’ you into weight loss?
Whilst the term ‘detox’ has pretty much become synonymous with weight loss, it has no actual grounding in science. It’s actually one of the worst words you could wish to find on your weight loss supplement because it has no scientific meaning whatsoever in the context of body composition changes.
There is no process of detoxification that occurs in the human body other than naturally through the kidneys, liver and lungs.
In fact, whenever you see the term ‘detox’ on a product, it’s a surefire way of the manufacturer saying “we’ve got no actual scientific reason why this product might work so we’ll just put this on the label”.
Can the diuretic effect of dandelion cause weight loss?
The short answer to this is yes… but not in the way you’d want it to.
When you ingest a diuretic, you go to the toilet more frequently. It is essentially a good way of getting water out of your system.
The problem is you’re not losing fat, just water.
A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine , found that when a group of 17 participants were given 8 ml of dandelion extract, they urinated much more frequently within a 5-hour period.
So, whilst you might lose body mass in the short term through water loss, you’ll not lose any fat at all. And your weight will soon go back up once you have a drink.
It might slow adipogenesis in test tube experiments
One research paper reported some very tentative links between dandelion root supplementation and the slowing down of fat cell formation in in vitro research .
In the test tube experiment, an extract of dandelion reduced development of a specific fat cell called 3T3-L1 by 30%.
To be clear though, this is nowhere near reliable enough to suggest that the same would happen in human trials.
Key Point: There are no studies on dandelion tea that show any benefit to weight loss. You’ll urinate a bit more frequently which could lead to short-term water loss, but this won’t affect long-term weight loss in any way.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Whilst dandelion tea is considered as generally safe, you can still suffer from a number of side effects if you choose to use it as a supplement. These include:
- Frequent visits to the toilet
- Stomach pain, discomfort and inflammation
- Contact allergies
There are also a small number of case studies reporting adverse reactions in users of the herbal supplement. For example, a 58-year old woman was admitted to the ER after reporting symptoms of hypoglycemia – dangerously low blood sugar – after ingesting a dandelion supplement .
Taraxacum officinale or dandelion is a type of flowering plant from the Asteraceae family. It is used to make a herbal tea to improve health – in particular to improve digestive health.
Whilst marketed as a ‘detox’ and weight loss product, dandelion tea does not help you lose weight. At best it may help you drop a little bit of water in the short-term but this does not affect your fat mass.
We suggest you avoid this product and focus your attention on a fat burner that has a more direct on effect on your fat cells.
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