Green tea extract could harm the liver of people with genetic variations – Digital Journal

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Green tea is a type of tea that is made from the leaves and buds of Camellia sinensis. Image by Alessandro Martini, Creative Commons. (CC0 1.0)

Long-term use of a high dose green tea extract it may provide some protection against cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. However, use of the extract may cause liver damage in a small minority of the population. This is based on a new study from Rutgers University.

In terms of who is at risk, the research focuses on two genetic variants that predict some risk. The study demonstrates that early signs of liver damage are predicted by a variation in one genotype and strongly predicted by another variation.

The findings were drawn from the minnesota green tea trial. This is a large study of the effect of green tea on breast cancer. The justification for this series of studies is that green tea extract contains ingredients (catechins) that may reduce the risk of breast cancer.

With the current study, the researchers investigated whether people with certain genetic variations were more likely than others to show signs of liver stress after one year of eating 843 milligrams per day of the predominant antioxidant in green tea, a catechin called epigallocatechin gallate. (EGCG). . catechins They are a type of secondary metabolite that provides antioxidant functions in plants.

The scientists selected two genetic variations because each controls the synthesis of an enzyme that breaks down EGCG. The one-year trial included more than 1,000 postmenopausal women and data was collected at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months.

An analysis by investigators showed that early signs of liver damage were somewhat more common than normal in women with a variation in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genotype and strongly predicted by a variation in uridine 5′-diphospho -glucuronosyltransferase 1A4 (UGT1A4 genotype).

The analysis showed that participants with the high-risk UGT1A4 genotype saw the enzyme that indicates liver stress increase by nearly 80 percent after nine months of consuming the green tea supplement, while those with low-risk genotypes saw that the same enzyme increased 30 percent.

In the longer term, researchers how to predict who can safely take high-dose green tea extract. This concern is only apparent with high levels of green tea supplementation and not with drinking green tea or even taking lower doses of green tea extract. To arrive at this answer, there are more genetic puzzles to unravel.

According to lead researcher Hamed Samavat: “Learning to predict who will suffer liver damage is potentially important because there is growing evidence that high-dose green tea extract may have important health benefits for those who can safely take it.”

the research appears in the Dietary Supplement Magazine. The research is titled “Hepatotoxicity with high-dose green tea extract: effect of catechol-O-methyltransferase and uridine 5′-diphospho-glucuronosyltransferase 1A4 genotypes.”

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