T Nation

Green Tea and Liver Damage

I heard that green tea supps are not sold in Europe due to possible liver damage, and that rats exposed to high-level EGCG had damaged livers. Any thoughts??

Could you please post the scientific study reference?

Exolise [green tea hydroalcoholic extract]

Exolise is a product used as an aid to slimming that contains hydroalcoholic extracts of green tea. This product is not authorised as a medicinal product by the IMB. However, following notification of a number of cases of liver damage suspected in association with the use of Exolise in France and Spain, the company, Electramed Ltd., have initiated a recall of the product from the Irish market at the request of the IMB. The product has also been recalled from other EU markets. To date, the IMB has not received any reports of suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) associated with use of Exolise in Ireland.

Aside from wondering what else people might be taking that could cause liver damage, I apply the 1 in 10000 rule of thumb.
A friend of mine who is an M.D. and has a long career in drug developement and research clued me in to this.
One person in ten thousand is going to have a bad reaction to something.It could be anything.Choose an arbitrary substance and administer it to a pop. sample of 10,000 people. At least one person is going to exibit a negative response.
Now divide the entire population by 10,000 and multiply that by the number of neg responses you got from the origional experiment. Thats how many potential negative responses you have to any given substance.
Thats also why I don’t worry too much about how others respond to what is usualy considered benign, or in many cases beneficial.

Hi, dermo. You don’t need to worry about drinking your green tea. It has all of the health benefits you’ve read about and is actually liver PROTECTIVE, not liver toxic. Studies were done on green tea toxicity, and the researchers did find that at a certain level there was toxicity – but that level was the equivalent of 1200 cups per day for a 150 pound man.

In the case of Exolise, it is an 80% ethanolic dry extract. It seems that the problem lies with the extraction method. Apparently, extraction with ethanol releases some toxic substances from the tea leaves that normally would not be soluble in hot water. Either that or they are in such dilute amounts that they are not harmful to those who drink green tea.

Bottom line? Enjoy your green tea! (grin)