In the wake of an increasing number of liver injury cases being reported in Canada and worldwide, Health Canada has issued a tougher warning over product labels containing green tea extracts.
These over-the-counter pills and products have recently become excessively popular among people seeking easy weight loss solutions.
The warning comes after a federal safety review that was conducted after 17 year old Madeline Papineau developed kidney and liver injury soon after she began consuming the extract.
The development initially stumped the consulting doctors. It was after Papineau’s sister informed the doctors that the 17-year-old has been taking green tea extract diet supplements that led to the discovery of the cause.
According to Health Canada, product labels containing green tea extracts have included the risk of liver injury since 2008. On Wednesday however, the agency pushed for more “clarified warnings” of the risk.
Manufacturers are now instructed to include stricter warnings using strong words that say:
• “Stop use if you develop symptoms of liver trouble such as yellowing of the skin/eyes (jaundice), stomach pain, dark urine, sweating, nausea, unusual tiredness and/or loss of appetite, and consult a health care practitioner.”
• “Rare, unpredictable cases of liver injury associated with green tea extract-containing products have been reported (in Canada and internationally).”
Previous surveys and investigations have revealed that there have been at least 60 cases documented worldwide where people using weight loss supplements with green tea extracts have suffered liver failure.
Green tea is rich in catechins – a powerful antioxidant which, when consumed in the right quantities, protects cells from oxidative damage, regulates hormonal activity, and promotes better overall health.
Most weight loss supplements contain concentrated amounts of catechins that can prove fatal for some people when consumed in high dosage.
Dr. Herbert Bonkovsky – a US-based gastroenterologist says, “If you take enough of it, it can kill you.”