Many people drink green tea for their health. It’s supposed to prevent cancer, inflammation, and cavities among other things. Green tea is regularly recommended for losing weight too, since it supposedly stimulates fat-burning. Until now, no one has suspected that green tea could do harm.
But that’s exactly what one 16-year-old from England experienced, whose case has been written up in a medical journal.
To help her lose weight, she ordered two cartons of Chinese green tea online, each containing 100 teabags. She drank three cups a day for several months before coming down with a mystery sickness that caused pain, nausea, and dizziness.
She went to the doctor thinking she might have a urinary tract infection, but the antibiotics didn’t help at all. Finally she ended up at the ER in Birmingham. There, doctors were able to diagnose her with acute hepatitis!
The doctors believe that the liver damage was caused by an ingredient in the green tea called camellia sinensis. Other medical researchers responded to their study by questioning the pesticides used in some Chinese agriculture, including teas.
The exact cause won’t be clear without broader investigation, but as soon as the girl stopped consuming that particular green tea, the she began recovering from the hepatitis.
Her experience is a stark reminder that we need to know both the ingredients of the food and beverages we consume and the chemicals that they’ve been treated with. Only then can we determine whether they’re actually safe for us.
It’s enough to make you hesitate before buying something to eat or drink online, especially from a country without much regulation of its agriculture and food industry!