9 Replies
AllanK said

There are any number of possibilities . If she bought green tea with added weight loss agents they could be the culprit. Or it could just be a one in a million reaction. Or she could have been drinking alcohol and not want to admit it. If you could easily get hepititis from drinking too much tea how many people on Steepster would have it?

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They said it was possible that the addition of chemicals to the tea, perhaps to aid weight loss, or the use of pesticides on tea trees had contaminated the infusion.
“There is potential for pesticide-induced hepatitis to exist, especially from less regulated products ordered from developing countries over the internet,” said the report.

Safe water is safe. Add poison to safe water. Safe water is not safe.

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stock man said

That’s what I think, that she must drank something else or that that tea had something added to aid weight loss, because I drink 3 or more tea cups every day since 2 years ago and I’m healthy.

Isabel said

The same here!!!

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There is barely any information there. They don’t say what Hepatitis. I worked with a lot of people with Hep B and C.

Something like Hepatitis A can be contracted super easily – like if your food server has Hepatitis A and doesn’t wash their hands you’ll probably get it. There was a warning going around that it could be in ice cubes even as Hep A can be waterborne. I’m guessing this is the one she got. If it was through the tea, it would be the water she made with it.

B and C is though fluids contact, ie sharing needles/sex.

So yeah, a reminder to get your Hep A/B booster.

Angrboda said

Also Hep B can be dormant for a long time before it actually starts making you ill, in which case she might already have had hepatitis if that was the type she got.

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That article described hepatitis as both a kidney infection and a liver infection. argh I found the actual case report: http://casereports.bmj.com/content/2015/bcr-2014-208534.full which is better. It does not seem as though anybody did a GCMS assessment of the tea product, which I would have thought would be an obvious test. That’s Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy, a labratory technique to identify and quantify components of an unknown substance.

Lindsay said

Thank you for linking to the case report! That Telegraph article is a hot mess. Using “hepatitis” and “kidney infection” interchangeably is pretty appalling.

The case report is also a bit questionable. It uses the terms “green tea” and “herbal tea” interchangeably, and the author does not appear to realise that “C. sinensis” is also the ingredient in every classic British tea bag. The examples they gave of previously-reported cases mostly involved green tea extracts and concentrates being marketed as weight loss supplements, which are not exactly analogous to just steeping a tea bag in a normal way for drinking. To make this a useful case study, they really should have sent the tea in question off for testing for contaminants. There is a long and illustrious history of Chinese “natural remedies” being found to be contaminated with ilicit pharmaceutical products, so if this girl bought tea that was being marketed for weight loss, it might have actually been doctored with a weight loss drug of some sort.

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I don’t buy it. The case study said that she tested negative to Hep A, B, and C, and it was most likely an autoimmune response. Our immune systems are amazing things, and in a relatively young patient, if causative factor was green tea (+pesticides/chemicals) the symptoms should have presented much earlier, especially if after a short admission and dialysis the patient made a short and full recovery. Not to mention that followup was two months after initial admission, any number of things other than the tea could have changed in that time.
The ‘recurring’ part of this article refers to references, the majority of which are in reference to ‘herbal supplements’ which are not regulated at all by any higher authorities (think FDA). The only valid reference for ‘recurring’ MIGHT be that an older woman (67yrs) was taking green tea capsules and presented with hepatitis. What that reference downplays though was that the patient in question as also a cancer patient and most likely taking a variety of other medications. The connection was not valid considering the first case study (3 months of tea) pointed the finger at potential chemical contaminates and the 2nd (tea capsules) rules that out with chemical analysis and stated that ‘there was no evidence of contaminants’ and the primary components are those found in normal green teas.
I would look at the other references, but the ones I clicked on were either not in English, or not referencing to tea at all.

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