The US Food and Drug Administration has turned down a qualified health claim linking green tea consumption with reduced cardiovascular disease risk.
The petition was lodged by the US arm of Japanese company Ito En, which cited 105 publications supporting its claim. In response the FDA stated: "There is no credible evidence to support qualified health claims for green tea or green tea extract and a reduction of a number of risk factors associated with CVD." Many of the studies submitted were disallowed because of procedural or design flaws.
It is the second green tea health claim FDA has rejected; it turned down a cancer reduction claim last year.
In response, Ito En stated: "Although Ito En considers it unfortunate that the green tea health claim petition has been rejected by the FDA, the company will continue its research on green tea. Ito En looks forward to working with FDA to identify research supporting green tea and a specific benefit to human health. Like many fruits and vegetables, green tea contains important antioxidants, which research has shown, can play a significant role in an individual's well-being."
If accepted, Ito En's submitted claim would have read: "Daily consumption of at least 5 fluid ounces (150 mL) of green tea as a source of catechins may reduce a number of risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. FDA has determined that the evidence is supportive, but not conclusive, for this claim. (Green tea provides 125 mg catechins per serving when brewed from tea and 125 mg catechins as a pre-prepared beverage)."