In a new study, researchers found the liver damage is linked to some herbal and dietary supplements for weight loss and muscle building.
The research was done by researchers from the University of Michigan.
Currently, the supplement products available in the United States continues to grow.
About 50% of adults have regular use of at least one kind of supplement.
In addition, athletes often take over-the-counter products to help lose weight or improve their energy levels.
But the current research showed that many herbal and dietary supplements never undergo formal efficacy or safety tests.
The health risks linked to consuming these supplements including chemically induced liver damage.
In the study, the team examined several popular over-the-counter supplements linked to liver injury.
They found that many bodybuilding supplements that lead to liver injury contain androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS) or are contaminated with these and other chemicals.
AAS are synthetic derivatives of testosterone.
Some medical conditions require AAS, including primary male hypogonadism and hereditary angioneurotic edema.
But many people use these steroids without medical supervision.
People can get these products at health food stores or online in bulk.
Previous research has shown that in the past two decades, there is a big increase in liver injury related to the use of AAS.
The team suggests that green tea extract and multi-ingredient nutritional supplements many contain chemicals harm the liver.
These products include familiar names like Hydroxycut, Oxy ELITE Pro, and LipoKinetix.
For example, green tea extract, or GTE, is derived from unfermented leaves of the Chinese tea tree, Camellia sinensis.
One of the active ingredients in GTE is epigallocatechin gallate. It boasts purported weight-loss properties by stopping fat-causing lipogenic enzymes.
A recent study showed six patients who took weight-loss products with GTE suffered liver injury.
Additionally, three patients from this group were hospitalized, and one had to have a liver transplant.
The researchers suggest that people need to take to their healthcare providers before taking supplements for bodybuilding and weight loss
One researcher of the study is Robert Fontana, M.D.
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