We love learning about natural aids that help us reach our health and fitness goals, but there can be too much of a good thing. When it comes to green tea supplements, it’s especially important to avoid going overboard to prevent potential liver damage.
These supplements have become increasingly popular over the years, especially for those hoping to lose weight. We’ve even written about the benefits of green tea extract for taming inflammation, boosting brain health, and improving liver function — all of which you can safely get while taking them in moderation.
Unfortunately, people often don’t realize commercial products exceed the maximum healthy daily amount or take multiple doses in an attempt to speed up their weight loss. Here’s what you need to know before adding this supplement to your daily routine.
Can green tea supplements cause liver damage?
The short answer is yes, green tea supplements can indeed cause liver damage in doses over 800 mg per day. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a warning back in 2018 explaining that the catechins which provide usually helpful antioxidants in green tea can take a turn and become toxic at such a high concentration.
They add that on average, sipping green tea throughout the day will only range between about 90 to 300 mg of catechins. Even heavier green tea drinkers who go over 800 mg are less likely to experience the same issues as ingesting that amount all at once.
A study from 2020 detailed a case where a patient who took 800 mg of green tea extract from a commercial weight loss supplement for 3 to 4 weeks experienced a severe and prolonged case of hepatitis. Similar stories have made headlines over the years, like a man from Dallas who needed a liver transplant after taking green tea supplements for two to three months and a teen girl in Canada who experienced both kidney and liver injuries.
So while we aren’t trying to scare you away from trying supplements with green tea, we want to remind you to be mindful about the doses. As always, you should consult your doctor before taking these (or any other type of supplement) on a regular basis.