Camellia sinensis (green tea) extract: potential harm to liver

Health professionals treating patients who have recently used products containing Camellia sinensis (green tea) extracts should be aware that these products have been associated with rare cases of harm to the liver, the TGA has advised. Patients who develop signs of liver problems should cease the product immediately and be followed up appropriately, it states. About 267 listed medicines in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods contain C. sinensis, most of which contain the product as concentrated extract. These products are often used to help with weight manage­ ment and a source of antioxidants. There have been reports worldwide of liver toxicity associated with C. sinensis use, although the incidence is rare and unpredictable. Twenty cases have been reported to the TGA, which does not consider a recall warranted as most C. sinensis use (including green tea in beverage form) is unlikely to cause harm.

WHO global action plan on physical activity launched

A 15% reduction in the global prevalence of physical inactivity in adults and adolescents by 2030 is the goal of the WHO’s recently launched Global Action Plan for Physical Activity and Health 2018­2030. Worldwide, one in five adults and four out of five adolescents (11­17 years) do not do enough exercise, with girls, women, older adults, poorer people, people with disabilities, marginalised populations and indigenous people having fewer opportunities to be active, the WHO said. The action plan recommends a set of 20 policy areas that aim to create more active societies. According to the Heart Foundation of Australia, inactivity causes 10 to 20% of the disease burden in Australia; increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes by 25 to 30%; and shortens lifespan by two to five years.