Green Tea Extracts

I’ve written before that our society tends to push weight loss “pros” and not mention “cons”.  Here’s a “con” you may not be familiar with.

There are many products to help people lose weight (if only temporarily).   Some “fat burning” supplements contain green tea extracts, which in high doses can be toxic to the liver.

 The investigators looked at 845 patients with severe, drug-induced liver damage who were treated at hospitals in the network from 2004 to 2012. It focused only on cases where the investigators ruled out other causes and blamed a drug or a supplement with a high degree of certainty.

When the network began tracking liver injuries in 2004, supplements accounted for 7 percent of the 115 severe cases. But the percentage has steadily risen, reaching 20 percent of the 313 cases recorded from 2010 to 2012.

Those patients included dozens of young men who were sickened by bodybuilding supplements.  […]

A second trend emerged […in…] patients with liver injuries linked to herbal pills and powders. Two-thirds were middle-aged women, on average 48 years old, who often used the supplements to lose weight or increase energy. Nearly a dozen of those patients required liver transplants, and three died.

Not all supplements are dangerous, of course. But this is part of why I get leery of gyms and personal trainers who push pills and powders — and anything with “lose weight fast” in the title.

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