There is a veritable craze going on right now surrounding green tea, and for good reason: the stuff is super-healthy! However, due to recent research and the links between green tea and weight loss, some people are going overboard, and taking large doses of green tea supplements.
This practice is not only potentially dangerous, there is also no solid evidence to show that it will provide any more benefit than just drinking classic, delicious green tea.
In a new study performed by researchers at Penn State University, the problem of liver toxicity from high doses of green tea supplements was addressed. By experimenting with mice, the research team found that drinking green tea in the weeks prior to taking green tea supplements could help protect against liver toxicity – by a whopping 75 percent.
According to associate professor of food science, Josh Lambert, “we believe this study indicates that those who are chronic green tea consumers would be less sensitive to potential liver toxicity from green tea-based dietary supplements. If you are going to take green tea supplements, drinking green tea for several weeks or months ahead of time may reduce your potential side effects.”
However, Lambert adds that he recommends drinking green tea over taking green tea supplements – and we heartily agree. He states, “drinking green tea rather than taking supplements will allow you to realize the benefits and avoid the risk of liver toxicity. The beneficial effects that people have reported as being associated with green tea are the result of dietary consumption rather than the use of supplements. The relative risk of using supplements remains unclear.”
In fact, because of the almost non-existent FDA regulation of supplements sold in the United States, taking them could be more risky than you think. We have previously explored how many supplements tested have been found to contain toxins, including mold and potentially hazardous chemicals. Other supplements, while toxin-free, have been found to have little or none of the active ingredients listed on the label.
Another note on green tea and weight loss: while green tea can be a great addition to a weight loss plan, super-dosing on it will not help you lose weight if you do not modify your entire lifestyle. This includes a diet of nutritious foods, regular exercise, sleep and stress relief. No “magic pill” – even green tea – will safely melt those pounds on its own. If it does, it’s probably wreaking havoc on your body in the process.
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. Skip the supplements and steep yourself a steaming, organic mug – the perfect way to warm up on a winter afternoon!
-The Alternative Daily