Drinking Green Tea Prevents Liver Toxicity

Did You Know…that drinking green tea before you supplement with green tea extract may help protect against liver toxicity?

Nearly 69% of American adults are considered overweight or obese.  And as evidenced by the nearly $1 billion spent on weight loss aids every year, many are turning to supplements for help—such as green tea extract.

Green tea is highly concentrated in catechin polyphenols, natural antioxidants that offer a high level of protection against aging and disease.  Packaging those substances in a pill may seem convenient, but in the last decade a great number of individuals taking high dose green tea supplements have been diagnosed with liver toxicity.

Now, however, researchers at Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences have found a possible safeguard for those wishing to supplement with green tea extract: drinking green tea for a few weeks before supplementation may greatly reduce the risk of liver toxicity.

Possible Protection from Green Tea 

Green tea extracts are highly concentrated in the polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).  EGCG is a demonstrated culprit in liver toxicity when consumed in high doses.  For the Penn State study, researchers separated mice into 2 groups.  Both groups were fed high doses of EGCG for 3 days, equivalent to the dose found in human green tea extract supplements.  However, one group of mice was fed a diet containing low-level ECGC for 2 weeks prior to treatment. After 3 days exposure to high doses of EGCG, researchers checked the mice’s blood levels in order to determine the degree of liver toxicity.

  Mice pretreated with low-level EGCG showed a 75% reduction in liver toxicity compared to the mice that were not pretreated

  This suggests that consuming low-level EGCG a few weeks prior to taking green tea supplements may help protect your liver

Josh Lambert, associate professor of food science, explains: “If you are going to take green tea supplements, drinking green tea for several weeks or months ahead of time may reduce your potential side effects.”

Green Tea for Weight Loss 

Lambert points out that people can drink 10 to 20 cups of green tea a day with no reported liver toxicity. Perhaps that’s because you can’t drink 20 cups of green tea all at once, whereas you can take a green tea supplement with that high of a dose all at once, which could be what’s spurring on liver damage.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, drinking 2 to 3 cups of green tea a day delivers 240-320 milligrams of health-promoting polyphenols for both disease protection and weight loss.

Green Tea Research

Numerous studies have shown that green tea helps reduce appetite and boost metabolism.

  A recent analysis of 11 human trials showed a 3-pound average
body weight loss in those who drank green tea.

  Even greater benefits were realized when subjects exercised.

  A meta-analysis published in Nutricion Hospitalaria in 2014
suggests that drinking green tea can lead to a slight reduction
in the percentage of fat mass.

  Sharpen mental acuity and focus

  All without the side effect of liver toxicity!