We know that green tea is packed with antioxidants and health benefits—like boosting your metabolism—but in the case of the yummy green drink, turns out there can be too much of a good thing. For one 16-year-old, drinking three cups of green tea per day as part of a weight-loss plan led to herb-induced hepatitis—yikes!
The condition is known as herbal hepatotoxicity, which happens when too many herbs or supplements are ingested, thus leading to toxin-induced hepatitis. Just like the warning label on painkillers, sipping too much green tea can have the same liver-damaging effect.
The ingredient in question is catechin, a natural phenol and antioxidant. While it does have several health benefits, drinking too much of the ingredient will greatly harm your liver. Gastroenterologist Niekt Sonpal of NYC says of catechins, "When you start taking the extracts and boiling them down into concentrated capsules, it's kind of like little tiny bombs going into your liver." Sounds incredibly scary.
If you're worried about whether you need to stop sipping green tea immediately, Sonpal says there's no need to fret: "Green tea is incredibly safe for the most part," he explains. "It's rare for hepatotoxicity to occur with daily normal consumption, like one or two cups." The damaging effects happen if you drink green tea religiously and have several cups per day. To find out how much is too much, speak to your doctor since every body breaks down the compounds in foods and herbs differently.
If you’re in search of a healthy drink to sip daily, we recommend the Asobu Flavor It Infuser Water Bottle ($12). Fruity water tastes great, delivers vitamins, and keeps you hydrated all day long.
What drinks do you swear by for health and beauty? Tell us in the comments below!