There has been some controversy surrounding the use of green tea when it comes to the effects on the liver, namely with regards to hepatitis.
Unfortunately, green tea and yes, in particular matcha green tea has been associated with liver damage in some cases.
Now, before you throw away all your matcha tea, read this first!
Although consuming very high quantities of either matcha tea or green tea as supplements may in some cases not be the best medicine for your liver, when consumed at sensible rates it is a different matter altogether.
Like so many things in life, balance is the key to unlocking the potential matcha tea benefits. Matcha green tea can help to improve your liver and that includes for patients with hepatitis.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. According to those in the know – the European Food Safety Authority, to be precise, it is possible that an over consumption of green tea supplements may have a detrimental effect on the liver.
However, the key words to remember here are supplements and over consumption.
A supplement is not the same as an actual cup of matcha green tea.
There is no need to ditch all the green tea in your tea caddy just yet!
The findings of researchers established that more than 800mg of the antioxidants within green tea can produce risks to the liver.
But the amount of antioxidants within a typical cup of green tea comes in about 90 to 300mgs.
The higher level of antioxidants are therefore found in health supplements, which usually begin at around 1000mgs.
In short, stick to the teas and avoid the supplements if you want to be sure of avoiding any of the risks associated with matcha green tea and get only the benefits!
NOW HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS
Before we get too worried about the consumption of matcha tea, let’s remind ourselves of all the reasons to include it in the diet – and that includes sufferers of hepatitis.
Patients who have had transplants and are therefore at risk of the hepatitis C virus may well consider the (light) use of matcha tea in their daily routine.
It’s been found that in these cases, where the patient may be at risk, that the consumption of green tea can prevent HVC re establishing itself.
And hepatitis C is the prime cause of end stage liver disease, which in itself is the reason for a liver transplant.
HCV affects 170 million people across the globe and can become a problem for the recipients of liver transplants. The virus is found outside the liver and may re-establishes itself in the patient.
But German research found that the anti viral qualities found within green tea (of which matcha is one) can help stop it gaining hold.
In 2011, a paper was published stating that many patients who had not responded favorably to the usual treatment for the condition, had seen an improvement from the catechins found in green tea.
EGCG produced a benefit to those liver cells – by restricting the passage of HCV into it.
SO WHAT SHOULD I DO?
We know that the advice from conflicting health professionals can be confusing.
One minute, matcha green tea is good for the liver – and the next, it might be bad.
And whereas we wouldn’t be telling any sufferers of hepatitis to go out and consume green tea supplements, we don’t think that a cup of matcha tea is going to hurt much either.
Better than that, there is actual evidence to back up the fact that a moderate matcha tea intake can boost the liver’s immunity to hepatitis and very importantly, might just help prevent a relapse.