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Phytother Res. 2018 Jul;32(7):1163-1180. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6063. Epub 2018 Mar 25.

Toxicological effects of Camellia sinensis (green tea): A review.

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Department of Pharmacodynamy and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Pharmaceutical Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Many scientific articles proved that green tea (GT), Camellia sinensis, has a great potential to manage central nervous system, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases and treat cancer and inflammatory disorders. However, it is important to consider that "natural" is not always "safe." Some relevant articles reported side effects of GT, detrimental effects on health. The aim of this study is to provide a classified report about the toxicity of GT and its main constituents in acute, subacute, subchronic, and chronic states. Furthermore, it discusses on the cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, and developmental toxicity of GT and its main constituents. The most important side effects have been reported hepatotoxicity and gastrointestinal disorders specially while consumed on an empty stomach. GT and its main components are not major teratogen, mutagen, or carcinogen substances. However, there is limited data in using them during pregnancy, and they should be used with caution in pregnancy, breast-feeding, and susceptible people. Because GT and its main components have a wide variety of drug interactions, consideration should be taken in coadministration of them with narrow therapeutic indexed drugs. Furthermore, they evoke selective cytotoxicity on cancerous cells that could engage them as an adjuvant substance in cancer therapy.


Camellia sinensis; acute toxicity; chronic toxicity; green tea; mutagen pregnancy

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