Green tea is often touted as being good for the heart, and several dietary supplement manufacturers sell products that contain the herbal ingredient. But the experts at Consumer Reports are warning consumers that the green tea extract – found in some diet pills – can have higher concentrations that can be dangerous to consumers, leading to serious and possibly fatal liver damage.
Green tea extract contains a type of polyphenols called catechins, which provide antioxidant benefits. But too much catechins can be deadly. Catechins target mitochondria, preventing the body from metabolizing food and turning it into energy. This can lead to jaundice, hepatitis, and liver failure. Researchers say that as many as 10 percent of people who develop liver failure after consuming green tea extract die as a result.
People who purchase dietary supplements that contain green tea extract for weight loss or fat burning may be disappointed to learn that studies have found that high doses of green tea likely do not have any impact on weight.
Consumers who purchase supplements for weight loss should be aware that the products often contain dangerous or undeclared ingredients that can cause serious health risks. Consumer Reports also advises consumers to avoid dietary supplements containing kava, caffeine powder and red yeast rice.