Chances are you’ve heard that drinking green tea from top Canadian tea companies is good for you. But is tea good for liver? The liver is a crucial organ in your body. It’s that hardworking organ that filters toxins out of your blood and produces bile to help break down fats.
So, yea, you should consider how whatever you ingest affects it.
The science on this is mixed, but there are some promising findings that regular tea drinking may help support liver health and possibly reduce the risk of liver disease over time. The antioxidants in tea may limit inflammation in the liver and throughout the body.
Some herbal teas also have compounds that aid fat metabolism and even slightly boost liver enzyme levels. While more research is still necessary, adding a few cups of green or black tea to your daily routine won’t hurt and may help your liver or even kidney function at its best for years.
Let’s delve into the details.
Does Tea Contain Compounds That Support Liver Health?
Tea might, in fact, be one of the ways to keep your organs healthy. It contains compounds that support liver health. The two main ones are catechins and theanine.
- Catechins are natural antioxidants found in tea leaves. It neutralizes harmful free radicals in the body. Your liver is exposed to many toxins and oxidative stress, so catechins may help prevent damage to liver cells and treat inflammation.
- Theanine is an amino acid found in tea that abates stress levels in the body. Chronic stress can tax your liver, but the relaxing effects of theanine may offer some protection.
Some studies show green tea and oolong tea, in particular, contain high amounts of catechins and theanine. Both have been linked to improving liver enzyme levels and reducing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease risk.
- Green tea is loaded with catechin called EGCG, which accounts for up to 80% of the catechins in green tea. EGCG may cut down fat buildup in the liver and protect liver cells.
- Oolong tea goes through an oxidation process that produces polymerized polyphenols. This may activate certain liver enzymes and aid the metabolism of fats in the liver.
The bottom line is that green and oolong tea contains compounds that can support liver health and function.
Drinking 3-5 cups of tea daily may boost your liver health over the long run. However, tea should only supplement a balanced diet and lifestyle. For the most benefit, choose high quality, loose leaf or bagged teas and brew them properly.
Green Tea and Liver Health- What the Research Shows
Several studies show green tea has liver-protective properties. Here’s what the research has found:
An extensive review of studies found that drinking green tea regularly was associated with a lower risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD. Green tea’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects may be responsible for the benefits.
Green tea also seems to enhance liver enzyme levels and fat metabolism. Research shows it can reduce liver fat and serum triglycerides and improve HDL cholesterol ol, all promoting liver function.
The catechins in green tea may prevent the oxidation of DNA and inhibit tumor growth factors. Several studies show green tea consumption is linked to a lower risk of liver cancer.
Furthermore, green tea may enhance insulin sensitivity by reducing inflammation and fat buildup in the liver. This makes it easier for your cells to use insulin to absorb sugar from the blood.
Drinking 3 to 5 cups of green tea daily may strengthen and safeguard your liver thanks to the tea’s natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
However, green tea is not a substitute for your doctor’s treatment. For the best health benefits, maintain a balanced diet, exercise, and limit alcohol consumption which can negatively impact your liver.
Black Tea and Liver Health- The Studies
Research shows that black tea has several health benefits that may affect your liver health. Some of the findings are as follows:
Black tea is packed with antioxidants like theaflavins and thearubigins that neutralize free radicals in the body and prevent cell damage. Since oxidative stress is linked to liver disease, the antioxidant effects of black tea could be beneficial.
Some research shows black tea could lower the risk of chronic liver disease. While more studies are still needed, the research suggests that drinking a few cups of black tea daily may benefit your liver health. And possibly prevent chronic liver disease in the long run due to its abundant antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects.
By supporting liver function and reducing inflammation and cell damage, black tea could keep your liver in tip-top shape for years.
Oolong Tea and Liver Function- Any Benefits?
Like green and black tea, oolong tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. Oolong tea leaves are partially oxidized, giving the tea a flavor and antioxidant profile between green and black tea. Some research shows oolong tea may benefit liver health and function.
Oolong tea contains antioxidants called polyphenols, especially catechins like EGCG. Antioxidants prevent cell damage from free radicals in the body.
Studies show people who drink oolong tea have higher blood antioxidant levels and lower markers of liver damage. The antioxidants in oolong tea may limit inflammation in the liver and protect liver cells.
Fatty Liver Disease
Oolong tea may also limit the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) risk and severity. NAFLD occurs when fat builds up in liver cells, and oolong tea may improve fat metabolism in the liver.
An analysis of several studies found that people who drank oolong tea had a lower risk of NAFLD than non-tea drinkers. Oolong tea also significantly decreases liver enzyme levels in people with NAFLD, indicating improved liver function.
Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Additionally, it lowers high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, negatively impacting liver health. Studies show drinking oolong tea for 6-12 weeks can reduce total cholesterol by up to 10% and triglycerides by up to 15%.
Oolong tea compounds like EGCG and theaflavins block cholesterol absorption in the gut and increase cholesterol excretion from the body. By improving cholesterol balance and metabolism, oolong tea supports overall liver wellness.
While oolong tea shows promise for liver health, the research is still ongoing. And unlike supplements, oolong tea is all-natural, delicious, and inexpensive. So brew yourself a cup and enjoy the benefits.
Herbal Tea and Your Liver- Help or Hindrance?
Herbal tea can be part of a healthy diet, but when it comes to your liver, not all herbal tea is created equal. Some herbal tea may cause liver failure or acute liver injury. At the same time, others could treat liver fibrosis.
Understanding how herbal teas affect your liver function is crucial before making them a routine.
Dandelion tea is made from the roots and leaves of the common dandelion weed. It acts as a natural diuretic, increasing urine production, which in turn helps flush toxins from the liver and kidneys.
The tea is also high in antioxidants and may prevent inflammation in the liver. However, dandelion tea may interact with certain medications like diuretics or diabetes drugs. Check with your doctor first before drinking dandelion tea.
Licorice Root Tea
Licorice root tea contains glycyrrhizic acid, which may soothe gastrointestinal issues like ulcers. However, glycyrrhizic acid can also raise blood pressure and lead to edema or fluid retention in some people.
Licorice root tea should not be consumed daily or in large amounts, especially if you have high blood pressure or heart disease.
The benefits of Green tea extract are numerous. It’s rich in antioxidants called catechins which provide liver health benefits like reducing fat accumulation and inflammation.
However, green tea’s caffeine may dehydrate or interact with medications like blood thinners. Limit green tea intake to 3 cups per day and avoid it altogether if you have caffeine sensitivity. Decaffeinated green tea extract supplementation is a good alternative.
Teas to Avoid
Some herbal teas contain plant compounds called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) which are toxic to the liver, even in small amounts. Chaparral, comfrey, and pennyroyal tea all have high levels of PAs and should be avoided. Long-term use or high doses of these herbal teas can lead to irreversible liver damage and scarring.
In summary, some herbal teas in moderation may benefit your liver health. Still, others contain substances that can be toxic to the liver, especially if consumed regularly or in large amounts. Do your research, and when in doubt, check with your doctor about herbal tea before making it a part of your daily diet.
The Effects of Tea on Fatty Liver Disease and Cirrhosis
Tea Reduces Fat buildup.
Tea, especially green tea, contains catechins like EGCG, which according to studies, may decrease fat accumulation and inflammation in the liver.
Catechins act as antioxidants, helping neutralize harmful free radicals that can damage liver cells. They may also block the absorption of lipids in the gut and improve fat metabolism in the liver.
Tea Prevents Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).
NAFLD is a buildup of excess fat in liver cells not caused by alcohol. It’s linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Research indicates tea, mainly green tea, may help prevent and even improve NAFLD.
The catechins in tea help reduce fat storage in the liver and promote fat burning. Studies found people who drank green tea had less fat buildup in their livers. Tea may help decrease liver enzyme levels and fat deposits for NAFLD patients.
Is Tea Good for Your Liver?
Yes, tea can be good for your liver. Black and green teas contain catechins that may support liver health and function. Catechins have antioxidant effects, meaning they neutralize harmful free radicals that can damage cells in the liver and elsewhere in the body.
Tea Limits Inflammation In the Liver.
The liver can become inflamed due to excess alcohol consumption, obesity, and viral hepatitis. The catechins in tea may decrease inflammation in the liver, which could reduce scarring and support the organ’s natural detoxifying abilities.
Some research shows green tea, in particular, may help mitigate non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is linked to inflammation in the liver.
Tea Prevents Liver Disease and Improves Liver Function.
Regular tea consumption may help prevent or slow the progression of liver diseases like hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. According to research, people who drink tea regularly tend to have lower risks of developing these diseases.
For those with liver disease, tea may even improve liver function and slow further damage. The antioxidants in tea support the liver’s natural ability to break down and remove toxins from the bloodstream.
Is There An Ideal Amount of Tea for Liver Health?
Most studies on tea and liver health use 2-5 cups daily, each containing 200-500 mL of brewed green or black tea. Within this range, the more tea consumed, the better the potential liver benefits. However, very high amounts of tea (5 cups or more per day) could have risks due to the caffeine content. As with many things, moderation and balance seem to be critical.
While more research is still needed, the evidence suggests that regularly drinking certain types of tea, like green tea or oolong tea, may provide some benefits for your liver in the long run. With Canada having one of the lowest organ donor rates, it’s best to care for your organs and body health enthusiastically.
Not a tea drinker? No worries, add some to your daily routine, and you’ll do your liver a favor.
And, of course, tea is no substitute for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
But when it comes to giving your liver an extra boost, a nice warm cup of antioxidant-rich tea could be just what the doctor ordered.