Consumer Reports: The Dangers of Green Tea Supplements

Green tea supplements are promoted as a good way to lose weight but representatives with the FDA say there’s little evidence to support that claim. Barry Levy has today's Consumer Report and says use of these supplements can actually be dangerous.

My daughter loves green tea, in fact, we have so much green tea in our house that our green tea has green tea. But we're talking about the supplements which contain
an extremely high level of antioxidants called catechins that can cause liver damage. Let's see what the experts have to say.

Green tea can be good for your heart. But don’t confuse a cup of tea with green tea extract powder.  Some supplements containing this ingredient promise weight loss and a healthier metabolism but the experts at Consumer Reports have concerns.

Jeneen Interlandi/Consumer Reports
“Higher concentrations of green tea extract can be really dangerous because it can potentially cause serious liver damage. Plus the herb itself has been found to alter the effectiveness of a long list of drugs including certain antidepressants and anticlotting medications.”

It can also elevate your heart rate and blood pressure. And researchers suggest that up to 10 percent of people who suffer acute liver failure from green tea extract may die as a result.  Consumer Reports put Green Tea Extract Powder on its list of 15 supplement ingredients to avoid.

Jeneen Interlandi
“The manufacturers who make these supplements are not required to prove to federal regulators that their products are safe, that they’re effective or even that they are accurately labeled, so you really don’t know what you’re buying.”

And studies have also found that even in high doses green tea probably won’t help you lose weight.

Jeneen Interlandi
“It’s true that green tea can raise your metabolic rate, so you burn more calories, but that’s probably just due to its caffeine and catechins it contains. Catechins are antioxidants that are found in green tea. “

Consumer Reports says most people can reap the health benefits of green tea with a couple of cups a day.

So, in this case more is not better...avoid the supplements but go ahead and enjoy your brewed green tea out of the can, bottle or hot in a cup...and don't forget correct tea drinking etiquette...pinky out.

Consumer Reports' complete list of 15 supplement ingredients to avoid

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