Green tea is known to have many nutritional benefits, for example, low in calories and acts as an antioxidant. To benefit your liver health green tea should not be taken with sugar. When taken in the wrong way green tea can be harmful to your body, find out how in this article about the benefits and risks of green tea.
What’s in this article
- Benefits of green tea
- Risks of green tea extract
Benefits of green tea
Green tea is known to have very few calories and tons of nutritional benefits. Several studies have shown that green tea has possible benefits in treating or helping prevent liver disease. A review of 10 studies from “Liver International” ISI Journal Citation Reports 2016 (Gastroenterology & Hepatology) reported that eight out of the 10 subjects found green tea had a protective effect against liver disease. Richard Bruno, an assistant professor of nutritional sciences in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University has also found while testing on animals that ingesting green tea daily blocks the amount of fat that is stored in the livers of overweight mice. This has helped the mice to not develop severe fatty liver disease and improved their liver function.
Risks of green tea extract
However, while drinking green tea can benefit your liver, a case study and a systematic review by the United States Pharmacopeia (an official publication containing a list of medicinal drugs with their effects and directions for their use) shows evidence for the possibility of green tea extract to cause hepatotoxicity (drug-induced liver damage).
According to the National Institute of Health, unregulated supplements now account for 20 percent of drug-related liver injuries. It won’t even take that many pills to do damage, Herbert Bonkovsky, M.D., a gastroenterologist with the Carolinas HealthCare System and professor at the University of Connecticut recommends completely avoiding supplements with green tea extract in them. Idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is a rare adverse drug reaction and it can lead to liver failure. Dietary supplements are among the most common therapeutic classifications of drugs to cause DILI in the Western world. Concerns about green tea extract causing liver damage has encouraged France and Spain to remove a weight-loss product containing green tea extract from the market, according to the United States Pharmacopeia.
Based on these facts, we should be consuming green tea in moderation. Drinking green tea certainly shows strong evidence in promoting liver health, however, taking it in supplement form should be avoided altogether.
Find out more about which vitamins and minerals are good for your liver as recommended by Dr. Tarek Hassanein, M.D.