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Green tea consumption can be dangerous for some people, study finds

Green tea, heralded for its numerous health benefits, has recently come under scrutiny due to its potential to cause severe liver damage.
Green tea, heralded for its numerous health benefits, has recently come under scrutiny due to its potential to cause severe liver damage. (CREDIT: Getty Images)

Green tea, heralded for its numerous health benefits, has recently come under scrutiny due to its potential to cause severe liver damage, according to a new study conducted by Israeli and Canadian researchers.


The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal GastroHep, highlights the alarming connection between green tea consumption and herbal-induced liver injury (HILI), urging caution among enthusiasts of the popular beverage.


 
 

Professor Stephen Malnick, the lead author of the study and head of the internal medicine department at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot, emphasized the dichotomy of green tea's effects. While it is celebrated for its role in preventing metabolic syndrome and promoting weight loss, it also poses a significant risk to liver health.



Malnick, who is also affiliated with the Hebrew University Medical School, underscored the importance of raising awareness about these potential adverse effects, especially considering the surge in green tea consumption in recent years.


 
 

"Green tea is not just a beverage; it has permeated various products, including nutritional supplements, contributing to a booming market projected to reach $27 billion in the United States by the end of this decade," Malnick stated.


He further cautioned that the composition of green tea products can vary widely, potentially containing hazardous substances like heavy metals.


 

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The study reviewed nearly 60 articles on green tea and hepatotoxicity, revealing that individual responses to green tea are unpredictable and idiosyncratic.


Despite only a hundred documented cases of HILI worldwide, the severity of the condition underscores the need for vigilance among consumers.


 
 

Malnick stressed the importance of recognizing the symptoms of liver damage, such as weakness, loss of appetite, dark urine, pale stools, itching, and jaundice, urging those experiencing such symptoms to seek immediate medical attention.



Moreover, Malnick highlighted the significance of incorporating inquiries about green tea consumption into routine medical assessments. He recounted a case in which a patient with severe liver damage had undergone extensive investigations without identifying the underlying cause until her consumption of green tea was disclosed during rounds.


 
 

While the patient ultimately recovered with steroid treatment, the incident underscores the critical role of physician awareness in mitigating the risks associated with green tea consumption.



While green tea offers various health benefits, including metabolic syndrome prevention and weight management, its potential to cause liver damage warrants caution.


 
 

The study's findings emphasize the need for heightened awareness among both consumers and healthcare providers, underscoring the importance of monitoring symptoms and incorporating inquiries about green tea consumption into medical evaluations to mitigate the risks associated with its consumption.






For more science news stories check out our New Discoveries section at The Brighter Side of News.


 

Note: Materials provided by The Brighter Side of News. Content may be edited for style and length.


 
 

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