It is also important to be aware of the possible complications.
Tea (Photo: Giphy)
We are all looking for easy ways to improve our health, and what's easier than drinking a cup of tea?
And another one that has been sold to us for years as a miracle cure?
Products based on plants and including other active ingredients, such as green tea, are marketed as a health product, one that has an effect on preventing cancer, an anti-inflammatory effect, an effect on preventing heart and metabolic disorders, and more.
In fact, as of today, green tea produced from the tea plant (Chinese camellia), is the second most consumed beverage in the world.
In recent years, the popularity of its use for weight loss purposes has also increased, and many products based on green tea have gained momentum in the Israeli and global market.
But despite this health hype, over the years, evidence has also accumulated about potential damages from increased consumption of these products.
A new study conducted at the Kaplan Medical Center of the Klalit Group and published in the international journal GastroHep, showed that these products may cause damage to the liver - from inflammation of the liver to liver failure.
The study was conducted by Prof. Steven Melnick, a gastroenterology and internal medicine specialist at Kaplan.
The problem: the botanical toxins present in the tea plant
According to the study, there are over 100 documented cases of liver inflammation as a result of green tea consumption.
The inflammation is a direct result of the botanical toxins present in the tea plant, and is most likely the result of a metabolic reaction to them.
In some cases, the increased consumption is the one that led to liver failure, especially in women.
The study states that it is not clear exactly which components of the cell cause liver damage, since there are a large number of compounds from different countries.
However, it is clear that in some people, combining green tea with other drugs and herbs can lead to severe liver disease.
"It is important to note that inflammation of the liver and liver failure as a result of green tea consumption is rare," clarified Prof. Melnik, "in addition, it is also very difficult to diagnose, because it is difficult to diagnose a direct relationship between consumption and liver damage. At the same time, evidence has accumulated from various cases throughout The world is about people who got hepatitis after increased consumption of green tea."
Prof. Melnik said that only recently he came across the case of a 23-year-old patient who used to drink 2-3 cups of green tea every day, and within a month deteriorated to the point where he needed to undergo a liver transplant.
"This is just another example that people who consume these products should be aware of the possibility of complications and consult the family doctor if suspicious symptoms appear," he said.
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This is not the only natural product that can harm you
While we tend to think that anything natural is safe, this isn't the first time these products have been linked to scary complications.
On October 22, a national conference of experts in gastrology (ACG 22) was held in the United States, during which data were presented on five new cases of liver disease that appeared after consumption of supplements containing turmeric.
In May 2021, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in the United States presented data on more than a dozen other similar cases.
And not only turmeric can cause unexpected side effects.
Cases of liver damage as a result of additional nutritional supplements were also presented at the conference.
In one case, a 19-year-old developed severe itching and yellowing of the skin as a result of taking supplements containing the Ashwagandha plant.
In another case, a 55-year-old woman suffered from itching, dark urine and loss of appetite after drinking herbal tea with rhubarb (South African red tea), Chinese scutella and jasmine gardenia.