Doctors have revealed that a teenage girl developed acu […]
Doctors have revealed that a teenage girl developed acute hepatitis after drinking three cups of GREEN TEA 3505 every day for three months in an attempt to lose weight.
She had ordered two boxes of Chinese green tea online and said, "Most of the ingredients of the tea I bought were written in Chinese. I had only lost a couple of pounds but then started having horrible pains in my joints, and felt very dizzy and sick."
In a report for the BMJ Case Reports journal, the authors said her infections had developed as a result of excessive herbal tea drinking but added her ailment was a "rare, but recurring theme."
William Gorman, from the Tea Council, says people have been drinking green tea for thousands of years without side effects: "From the information I have, it would appear that the lady had purchased a green tea product online from China, that had additional ingredients added to it, with the proposition that the product would aid slimming.
"Without rigorous laboratory tests, it would be difficult to isolate the active ingredient that could have caused the medical problem. Consumers should avoid where possible buying unregulated food products, particularly online."
Green tea has been praised by celebrities and experts for its health benefits, including reducing cholesterol levels, combating heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimers, and boosting weight loss.
But is it really that good for you?
Many believe that the high concentration of antioxidants in green tea could help protect against breast, lung, and stomach cancers, though the NHS state that there is no evidence for this.
A 2009 review of 51 different studies, consisting of over 1.6 million participants in total, searched for a link between drinking green tea and different types of cancer and found that "evidence of a link between green tea and cancer was weak and highly contradictory."
It has also been claimed that a cup of green tea can help to protect against dementia and Alzheimer's. But again, it has been found that a connection between the two is weak. In 2004 a study alleged that both green and black tea have similar effects to drugs developed to combat the development and progression of the diseases.
A study in 2010 also found that green tea rich seemed to protect against the nerve cell death associated with dementia and Alzheimer's, but because the study was conducting on animal cells the results do not "conclusively" show green tea could help to combat either disease.
Can green tea help lower cholesterol levels?
Green tea has also been alleged to help improve cholesterol levels.
A review of 11 studies did find that drinking a cup of green or black tea daily could help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, but the authors warned that the majority of trials they reviewed were short term, making it unclear if their findings would be substantiated in the long term.
Another review found that while drinking green tea did lead to a reduction in cholesterol levels, the authors did not find exactly how much people would have to drink to see a positive effect on their health.
Gorman says: "Green tea in its natural, unadultered form (pure Camelia sinensis) is one of the most natural products on the planet. There are no known cases of green tea causing health problems when taken in normal daily quantities.
"Green and black tea have been consumed for over five thousand years and make a very positive contribution to a healthy lifestyle."
However, Alison Hornby, a dietitian for the British Dietetic Association (BDA), says evidence touting green tea's health benefits should be taken with a pinch of salt: "In the Far East, green tea has been used as a treatement for a variety of conditions, ranging from arthritis to weight loss, as well as a preventative measure for diseases such as cancer. But the evidence for the majority of these conditions is weak or lacking."
She also added that "it appears to be safe in moderate amounts, so lovers of green tea can continue to enjoy it."