I was attending a friends wedding in New Jersey when I found myself unable to get to sleep in the hotel room. It was at about 230AM that I turned on the TV and discovered the infomercial for a supplement called Green Tea CR featuring “The Medicine Hunter”, Chris Kilham. It was an interesting commercial and definitely kept me from going back to bed. So, does it work? When I got home from the wedding I started to research the product. This is what I found.
Green Tea CR Benefits
From the website of the product, it's said that Green Tea CR is supposed to provide the following benefits.
- Brain Function
- Cardiovascular Health
- Healthy Circulation
- Liver Health
- Healthy Metabolic Support
- Joint Comfort
I believe I know where these claims are coming from. We'll cover that when we look at its ingredients below.
Green Tea CR Research
I searched the website of the company that makes Green Tea CR (PurityProducts.com) for research on the product. Unfortunately, I didn't see any listed. When I searched online for “Green Tea CR Research” and “Green Tea CR Clinical Studies” I likewise didn't see anything either. Therefore I'm forced to conclude that the product – itself – appears to not been clinically tested in humans. That said, there is research on its ingredients which I'll discuss below.
Green Tea CR Ingredients
The TV commercial specifically mentions these 3 ingredients in the product.
- Green tea extract
This is where the “CR” in the name comes from – Curcumin and Resveratrol.
But, when I went to the products website, I found that Green Tea CR has several other ingredients. Each bottle of Green Tea CR has has 30 servings. A serving is 2 veggie casuals. So, each bottle has 60 veggie caps.
Here is the Nutrition Facts label for 2 veggie caps the product:
|Ingredient||Amount Per Serving||Percent Daily Value|
|Calories from fat||10|
|Total fat||1 gram||2% DV|
|Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)||60 mg||100% DV|
|Green tea extract (camellia sinensis ) leaves||183.68 mg||N/A|
|Grapeseed extract (Vitis vinifera) seed||10 mg||N/A|
|Pine bark extract (pinus massoniana) bark||10 mg||N/A|
|Ellagic acid||10 mg||N/A|
|Citrus bioflavonoids||10 mg||N/A|
|Licorice root powder (Glycyrrhiza glabra)||5 mg||N/A|
|Trans-resveratrol (from polygonum cuspidatum (root) extract)||10 mg||N/A|
|BCM-95 (Bio-curcumin) total curcumoids 215 mg||250 mg||N/A|
Let's briefly cover some of these ingredients below
Green Tea Extract
Green tea is the first ingredient listed in Green Tea CR and it accounts for most of what makes up the product. Each 2 veggie capsules contains 183.68 mg of green tea extract.
If I'm reading their label correct (I might not be), they tell us that this extract contains 180 mg of polyphenols (which makes up 98% of the product) and 82.65 mg of EGCG (which makes up 45% of the product). But 98% and 45% dont add up to 100%?
In addition, 180 mg + 82.65 mg = 262.65 mg which is more than the 183.68 mg listed. I called Purity Products about this but unfortunately their customer service rep could not shed light on it.
In the TV commercial, it's said that “green tea antioxidants are some of the most highly beneficial of all the antioxidants in the world.” One thing that makes understanding the research murky is comparing green tea supplements to drinking green tea itself.
I don't think research on green tea supplements and drinking green tea are necessarily the same thing.
While I really have no problem with drinking green tea, I have been somewhat cautious of green tea supplements in light of some strange case reports that appear to link green tea containing supplements to liver problems.
I honestly don't think anyone yet understands what is going on with this. In many of the cases I've seen, green tea was in a supplement that contained other ingredients. S0, was it green tea that caused the liver problems or is it something else? See this review for more info on green tea and liver problems.
The liver toxicity associated with green-tea containing supplements appears to be low, but until more research is done, I recommend speaking to your doctor or pharmacist for more up to date and specific information.
See the review of Supplements and Liver Failure for more research.
Let me be clear. I do not write these words to to disparage any supplement or alarm anyone. Rather, I just feel it's important to mention this in the hopes that it helps someone reading these words.
Green Tea And Glutathione
Glutathione is an antioxidant compound that we make. Levels rise and fall as we need it, although some severe diseases deplete it. As we age, though, glutathione levels tend to fall. During the TV commercial it's mentioned that green tea can raise glutathone levels. Indeed there is some evidence for this.
In a 2013 study, both green tea supplements and drinking decaffeinated green tea (Bigelow green tea) were shown to raise glutatione levels in 35 overweight people who had metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes) after 8 weeks of use.
There are glutathione supplements but I don't think they work because we don't absorb it well when when we take it by mouth. That's why people look to taking things we can absorb that can help stimulate glutathione production.
Another compound that can raise glutathione levels N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC). For more on that supplement, see my review of Life Shotz.
Green Tea And Weight Loss
I think the TV commercial danced around the issue of green tea and “healthy weight management.” So, let me try to clear that up: Green tea won't help people lose weight.
In this 2014 review of the research the authors found it green tea did not help people lose weight. They noted there might be a small reduction in fat mass but it was not significant -in other words, it might not be real and even if it was, most people would probably not notice it.
Curcumin is said to be the main active ingredient in the spice, turmeric. The stuff that makes up curcumin are called “curcuminoids.” Curcumin is an antioxidant and there is evidence that curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties. This anti-inflammatory effect is likely at the root of the “joint comfort” claim for Green Tea CR. Two capsules of Green Tea CR provide 250 mg of curcumin.
I think curcumin is a very interesting spice (and supplement). In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, it also seems to raise nitric oxide, a compound that helps our blood vessels stay healthy.
While several studies have looked at osteoarthritis, one small study noted that 500 mg of curcumin also helped people with rheumatoid arthritis too.
Green Tea CR contains a specific, patented brand of curcumin called BCM-95, made by a company called Arjuna Natural Extracts, based in India. BCM-95 is a combination of curcumin and the essential oil of curcumin, called Ar-turmerone.
BCM-95 is also on Amazonfor those who want to check it out.
Like green tea and curcumin, resveratrol also has antioxidant properties. It also has some anti-inflammatory properties too. Resveratrol is a compound found in grapes as well as other foods. It's the reason why some people say red wine (and grape juice) is good for us.
One thing I did like is that Green Tea CR provides the most active form of this molecule – trans resveratrol.
Note, “trans” has nothing to do with trans fat. The word “trans” is just science talk and refers to the different shapes that a molecule can have. Different shapes can result in different effects in the body.
Resveratol, along with green tea and curcumin likely are at the center of the brain and heart health claims of Green Tea extra.
Like green tea and curcumin, there is a LOT of research on resveratrol for many different health conditions, including even the aging process. At issue though is how much resveratrol works best?
Honestly, I don't think we have a good answer to this yet. For that reason, I don't get too excited about resveratrol at this time. I just don't believe the science is there yet.
Grape Seed Extract
The scientific name for grapes is vitis vinifera. While they tell us the scientific name, they don't tell us what extract of grape seeds they are using. This makes evaluating it difficult.
Pine Bark Extract
While they don't tell us what extract from pine bark they are using, I wonder if it might be Pycnogenol. They tell us that 95% of this extract is made up of proanthocyanidins, which are a class of phyto-nutrients. While this is nice, these are not the only things in pycnogenol. My personal opinion is that focusing on any single ingredient reduces the effectiveness of what is naturally found in foods.
Regardless, 2 capsules only provides 10 mg of pine bark extract. Will that do anything significant in people? I don't know. In this study of pycnogenol and memory, researchers gave people 150 mg.
If you eat berries, you are likely getting some of this stuff already. It's a type of phyto-nutrient called a polyphenol. Ellagic acid is an antioxidant and and probably has anti-inflammation properties too.
When I wrote this review, much of the research I saw for ellagic acid involved isolated cells or lab animals. That's not to say it doesn't benefit us too – I'm sure it does. I just don't think the human research is there yet.
They tell us the bioflavonoids come from citrus fruits, but without knowing which bioflavonoids are in the product, I can't comment on it.
Licorice Root Powder
Licorice has anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation plays a role in many degenerative conditions. I'd need to know why this ingredient is present to speak further on it.
I covered this ingredient above. Another product I looked at that also had BCM-95 was Ceraplex, a brain supplement. See that review for additional information.
The product label also lists these other ingredients in Green Tea CR.
|Rice bran oil||Vegetable cellulose (for the veggie capsule)|
|Vegetable wax||Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopheryl)|
I dont believe any of these plays significant role in how the product works.
Who Makes Green Tea CR?
Green Tea CR is a supplement from Purity Products. Their website is PurityProducts.com and their company address: 200 Terminal Drive
Plainview NY, 11803. If you google this address, you can see that it does indeed show a building that says “Purity Products.” That's good.
I like that Purity Products is a real company. Not all supplement companies actually exist as a physical building. Some exist only as PO Box.
The BBB gave Purity Products a rating of “A+” when I wrote this review. See the BBB file for updates and more information.
Contact Purity Products
To contact Purity Product, here is their customer service number of 888 769 7873.
The AutoShip Program
If you purchase Green Tea CR there may be an autoship program if you buy it directly from the company. If this is important to you, be sure to ask about it when you order. If you need to cancel the auto-shipments call the company at 888-769-7873.
Who is Chris Kilham?
According to his website MedicineHunter.com Mr. Kilham is an educator and on the medical advisory board of the Dr. Oz show as well as Fox News. He's an accomplished author of several books. His wikipedia page has more information about him and his career.
Green Tea CR Side Effects
I think if you are healthy, Green Tea CR is safe. With that in mind, here are a few things worth mentioning for those who may not be “healthy.”
Speak to your doctor if you have any issues with heart disease, blood pressure, liver problems, breast cancer, ulcers, take blood thinner medications or ANY medications for that matter.
Stop taking the product at least 2 weeks before having surgery.
Speak to your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Does Green Tea CR Work?
First let me say I think that for the most part, the ingredients in Green Tea CR are interesting and make some sense, at least on paper. That said, it would take clinical research to know for sure if the product provides its touted benefits. With respect to green tea, I recommend people just drink the tea and leave the green tea supplements alone until we know more.
While green tea is in the name of the product, my personal opinion is that curcumin is the most important part of Green Tea CR. Even though this product uses a specific brand of curcumin (BMC-95), I think any quality brand will work just as well.
Here is Green Tea CR on Amazon if you want to see what others are saying.