Q. A patient of ours has been taking Green Tea Fat Burner by applied nutrition for 20+ years and uses it for energy. What are the long term side effects of this supplement? How does the caffeine in it compare to a cup of coffee? What are the damaging effects of it? We know it can't be good but we need facts. Thank you.
A: The caffeine content in one serving (2 softgels) of the product is comparable to 12 oz coffee (160 mg caffeine). Everyone’s caffeine tolerance is different. In order to evaluate whether you should recommend to your patient that they discontinue caffeine use, it is important to know the side effects of caffeine and the conditions that caffeine may aggravate. Hormone testing can be useful to determine if the patient is experiencing negative side effects from caffeine or if the patient has an existing hormonal imbalance that caffeine may aggravate. For example, if an individual has high cortisol levels as evidenced by a saliva test, using caffeine may not be wise because caffeine can raise cortisol levels higher which will place additional stress on the adrenal glands; this may lead to adrenal exhaustion.
Conditions that caffeine may worsen include:
Adrenal fatigue (stresses adrenal gland)
Anxiety disorders (can increase anxiety)
Bipolar (can cause mood changes)
Epilepsy (can cause “jittery” feeling)
Hypertension (can raise blood pressure)
Heart Conditions (may cause rapid heartbeat)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (can worsen diarrhea)
Diabetes (can cause irregular blood sugar patterns)
Glaucoma (can increase pressure inside the eye)
Osteoporosis (can increase calcium loss in urine)
Stomach Ulcers (can increase stomach acid)
Other Side effects of caffeine include
Trouble falling asleep
Joshua Staub RD, LDN
Keep in mind this free educational portal is not to be interpreted as medical or healthcare advice. This portal is designed to be an educational platform to help individuals better understand how to use diet and nutrition to enhance their overall health. Without a full clinical picture we are unable to ascertain the best actions for any individual. Consult your doctor before implementing or changing current treatment plans. If you are a doctor, use the general guidelines provided in this portal to add to your clinical picture and enable you to make the best decision for your patient.