Health Canada warns of liver injury risk linked to green tea extract

After completing a safety review of green tea extract in natural health products, Health Canada is strengthening warnings on labels of these products to avoid the risk for liver injury, according to a press release.

Products with green tea extract, promoted to help manage weight and as a source of antioxidants, are mainly authorized for adult use only and generally considered safe, according to the release.

Although Health Canada already includes the risk for liver-related injury on its label, the continuing global reports of serious liver injury cases prompted the department to perform a safety review to clarify the risk and determine the necessity of additional safety measures, according to the release. The results confirmed a link between green tea extract and rare serious liver-related adverse responses; however, why some people are more susceptible than others to liver injury remains unclear, per the release.

In response of these findings, Health Canada requests that companies update all affected natural products labels to warn about the rare, but serious, cases of liver injury reported after green tea extract use and to advise against use of these products if symptoms of potential liver damage appear, per the release.

The department has also updated the Green Tea Extracts monograph to include the revised warning and requests that license holders of natural health products containing green tea extract as a medical ingredient either remove the extract from the products and revise the label with indication that it is for adult use only, according to the release.

Disclosure: Healio.com/Hepatology was unable to confirm any relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.

After completing a safety review of green tea extract in natural health products, Health Canada is strengthening warnings on labels of these products to avoid the risk for liver injury, according to a press release.

Products with green tea extract, promoted to help manage weight and as a source of antioxidants, are mainly authorized for adult use only and generally considered safe, according to the release.

Although Health Canada already includes the risk for liver-related injury on its label, the continuing global reports of serious liver injury cases prompted the department to perform a safety review to clarify the risk and determine the necessity of additional safety measures, according to the release. The results confirmed a link between green tea extract and rare serious liver-related adverse responses; however, why some people are more susceptible than others to liver injury remains unclear, per the release.

In response of these findings, Health Canada requests that companies update all affected natural products labels to warn about the rare, but serious, cases of liver injury reported after green tea extract use and to advise against use of these products if symptoms of potential liver damage appear, per the release.

The department has also updated the Green Tea Extracts monograph to include the revised warning and requests that license holders of natural health products containing green tea extract as a medical ingredient either remove the extract from the products and revise the label with indication that it is for adult use only, according to the release.

Disclosure: Healio.com/Hepatology was unable to confirm any relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.