A teen from England experienced issues with nausea, lightheadedness, and body aches, therefore after visiting the doctor she was prescribed some antibiotics to treat urinary tract infection. She took 2 dosages of the medications, but felt more ill, so she rushed to the emergency room at a local hospital. Her skin and the whites of her eyes turned yellow, a clear indicator that she suffered from jaundice. Her condition was considered serious at this point and needed immediate attention. She was believed to have liver disease since her liver was inflamed and swollen. Thus, they were puzzled what may have caused this condition, so they investigated the circumstances that led to her seeking medical attention. She told them rather a shocking story.
According to the 16-year-old girl, she did not travel abroad recently, nor had taken any illegal drugs, and hadn’t consumed alcohol. Furthermore, she had never had a blood transfusion. After more questions, the doctors discovered that she had ordered 2 boxes of green tea from China and she had actually been drinking 3 cups of it daily. The reason why she bought it was that she believed it will help her lose weight and control her appetite.
She was unable to read or understand the instructions as they were written in Chinese, hence did not have the tiniest idea what she was drinking. There was a sample obtained from the tea then tested. When the results were done she was told to immediately stop drinking it. According to the tests, the tea contained Camellia sinesis, a kind of evergreen shrub whose leaves and leaf buds are used in making different tea types, including green tea. The ingredient was the main cause which result in the teenager’s condition and has actually been linked to liver damage and hepatitis in women who use green tea supplements and extracts. Patients in some cases suffered from severe liver damage and were left needing transplants, causing even death. There is a high possibility that other chemicals have been added to give stronger weight loss effects.
The case of this teenager as written in the journal BMJ Case Reports by the doctors stating that there is a potential for pesticide-induced liver disease exist, especially from less regulated products purchased from developing counties over the internet. Customers can’t be sure about the quality along with the integrity of any tea, they order from abroad. They are advised to be careful and very cautious about doing so and need to also prevent it all-together.
Thankfully, the girl recovered quickly and 2 months after stopping the usage of green tea her liver began to function normally again. Her case has been used by doctors to highlight that excessive intake of green tea may result in liver illness and a lot of its varieties that often guarantee weight loss can include damaging substances, including pesticides.
If you are drinking green tea, make sure that the brand is known to you and limit the intake to a safe amount.