Risk of Liver Injury Associated with Green Tea Extract in SLIMQUICK(®) Weight Loss Products: Results from the DILIN Prospective Study.Drug Saf 2016; 39(8):749-54DS
Herbal and dietary supplements (HDS) have been increasingly recognized as a cause for acute liver injury (Navarro et al. Hepatology 60(4):1399-1408, 2014; Bailey et al. J Nutr 141:261-266, 2011). HDS products frequently contain numerous ingredients, and are marketed under various product names. A perusal of marketed weight loss products indicates that green tea extract (GTE) is a common ingredient in many. We aimed to describe the course and outcome of six patients who developed liver injury attributed to SLIMQUICK(®) weight loss products.
Patients with suspected drug-induced liver injury were enrolled in a prospective study of the Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network (DILIN) and causality was assessed by a panel of hepatologists. During the period under study, 6 of 1091 cases of liver injury were attributed to a SLIMQUICK(®) product and were assigned causality scores of probable, highly likely, or definite.
Six cases of acute liver injury attributed to SLIMQUICK(®) products were enrolled in the DILIN prospective study between 2007 and 2011. All were women aged 22 to 58 years. Two had a normal body weight and four were mildly obese (body mass index 22.9-32.2 kg/m(2)). All were taking SLIMQUICK(®) products for weight loss and no patient reported prior use. Laboratory tests revealed a hepatocellular pattern of injury, with initial alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels above 1000 U/L in all but one patient. Three patients were hospitalized and one underwent successful liver transplantation. No patients died of liver injury. GTE and/or its component catechins were listed among the ingredients for five of the six products.
SLIMQUICK(®) products can lead to severe acute hepatocellular liver injury, which may result in transplantation. Given the frequency of GTE as a component in weight loss products, this ingredient should be studied further as a possible cause for liver injury.