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Consumer Reports: Is green tea safe for weight loss?

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Green tea supplements are marketed for weight loss, but here's the thing. There's little evidence to support those claims. (WLS)

Green tea supplements are marketed for weight loss, but here's the thing. There's little evidence to support those claims. In fact, the supplements could actually be dangerous.

Consumer Reports' health experts reveal the potential serious health risks from green tea supplements.

You may have heard that green tea can be good for your heart. But don't confuse a cup of tea with green tea extract powder.

Some supplements containing the ingredient are promising weight loss and a healthier metabolism, but the experts at Consumer Reports have concerns.

"Higher concentrations of green tea extract can be really dangerous because it can potentially cause serious liver damage. Plus, the herb itself has been found to alter the effectiveness of a long list of drugs, including certain antidepressants and anticlotting medications," said Jeneen Interlandi, Consumer Reports.

It can also elevate your heart rate and blood pressure. Researchers suggest that up to 10 percent of people who suffer acute liver failure from green tea extract may die as a result. Consumer Reports put Green Tea Extract Powder on its list of 15 supplement ingredients to avoid.

"The manufacturers who make these supplements are not required to prove to federal regulators that their products are safe, that they're effective or even that they are accurately labeled. So you really don't know what you're buying," Interlandi said.

Studies have also found that even in high doses green tea probably won't help you lose weight.

"It's true that green tea can raise your metabolic rate, so you burn more calories. But that's probably just due to its caffeine and catechins it contains. Catechins are antioxidants that are found in green tea," Interlandi said.

Consumer Reports said most people can reap the health benefits of green tea with a couple of cups a day.

Consumer Reports has long advocated for measures that would improve supplement safety and give the FDA greater authority to remove potentially harmful dietary supplements from the marketplace.

For now, check out its list of 15 supplement ingredients to avoid, which includes green tea extract powder, kava, caffeine powder and red yeast rice.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org
Related Topics:
healthweight lossconsumer reportssupplementsteasherbal supplements

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