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SlimQuick Eyed as Culprit in Young Woman's Liver Injury

May 14, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP

A case study published last month in the World Journal of Hepatology has concluded that a young woman who suffered a severe liver injury was likely suffering from a side effect of the herbal weight loss supplement, SlimQuick.  The authors of the report concluded that green tea extract contained in SlimQuick was the likely cause of her liver ailment.

Green tree extract, the primary ingredient in SlimQuick, contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which has been linked to liver failure and liver damage in a number of studies.  Previous research has indicated that drinking 3 to 5 cups of green tea per day provided at least 250 mg catechins per day and might be considered safe. According to the case study authors, their patient, a 24-year-old woman, had been taking two caplets of SlimQuick orally on an empty stomach twice per day for three months to improve energy for marathon training.   The report authors calculated that the patient was exposed to green tea extract that contained catechin in amounts higher than suggested safe levels, especially in light of the fact that she was taking SlimQuick while fasting.

The woman presented to her primary care physician with complaints of dark urine, acholic stools, right upper quadrant pain and progressive fatigue. She took no other dietary supplements or medications except for oral tetracycline 500 mg/d for eleven months for acne. She stopped both drugs eight days after the onset of symptoms. Because the patient demonstrated no laboratory or clinical improvement three weeks after stopping SlimQuick and liver biopsy was consistent with marked inflammation with necrosis, treatment with Prednisone was initiated, according to the report.

The patient also suffered from heterozygous for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, which might be a risk factor for chronic liver disease or liver failure.    The study authors concluded that, in light of the patient’s baseline normal liver function, the likely presence of alpha-1 antitrypsin MZ phenotype increased her vulnerability to severe hepatocellular injury. Tetracycline-induced liver injury was excluded as an offender based on the histopathology, leaving SlimQuick as the likely hepatotoxic agent.

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