The main purpose of this study was to investigate the hepatotoxic potential and effects on the gut microbiome of decaffeinated green tea extract (dGTE) in lean B6C3F₁ mice. Gavaging dGTE over a range of 1X-10X mouse equivalent doses (MED) for up to two weeks did not elicit significant histomorphological, physiological, biochemical or molecular alterations in mouse livers. At the same time, administration of dGTE at MED comparable to those consumed by humans resulted in significant modulation of gut microflora, with increases in Akkermansia sp. being most pronounced. Results of this study demonstrate that administration of relevant-to-human-consumption MED of dGTE to non-fasting mice does not lead to hepatotoxicity. Furthermore, dGTE administered to lean mice, caused changes in gut microflora comparable to those observed in obese mice. This study provides further insight into the previously reported weight management properties of dGTE; however, future studies are needed to fully evaluate and understand this effect.
Keywords: catechins; green tea extract; hepatotoxicity; herbal dietary supplements; microbiome.