What about fluoride?
Some weeks ago I saw a documentary about flouride and its effects on health, and one of the products they said contain a lot of flouride is tea (and the older the leave, the higher the amount of it).
Does anyone have more info about it?
Brick heicha tea from areas like Hunan does have fluorine, and Tibetans drinking a large and concentrated amount (boiled down) has led to infamous “black teeth.” The recommendation for adults for Hunan or Sichuan is no more than 17g/day. Some minority tribes well exceed this amount. However, a normal session of 3-7g prepared gongfu infusion method, as opposed to boiling down the leaves for several minutes, is perfectly safe.
It’s true that much older leaves are used for heicha tea. Puerh from Yunnan, on the other hand, is made from primarily new growth which has low levels of fluorine and is not normally a concern.
Yes, that’s it, tea tips have lower flouride concentrations.
One of my concerns is tea bags, as I drink a strong cup of yorkshire breakfast tea every single day. Are tea bags made with old leaves or new ones? (as most of them are made of dust I don’t now wth are they using).
Most English tea bags use tea varietals from India, Sri Lanka and other places. The bushes used are generally very young. BTW I drink Yorkshire bags myself, a friend in the UK sends them to me. I drink two bags, each steeped twice.
BTW, I’ve just bought a box of 80 taylors of harrogate gold bags. I’ll make a review once it arrives.
Some days I reach for my box of Yorkshire tea.
One bag steeped twice, more of everything if I use a Brown Betty teapot.
Thanks for the idea to look into this; I did a bit of reading and wrote a post about it. It didn’t work to bang out a simple summary but it did come together as a more comprehensive review. I couldn’t pin down if types of hei cha really are a higher risk but data certainly points out why that might be true: older leaves contain a lot more fluoride, potentially in the range of 10 times that found in most prepared teas.
It went long reviewing what normal recommended amounts for intake are, and limits, levels in treated water, risks related to natural water sources, with lots of research on tea added to that. All of those other factors tip the balance of whether fluoride in tea is a beneficial supplement or a health risk.
To summarize: 3 to 4 milligrams of fluoride a day might be helpful, for an adult (or potentially too much for someone sensitive to the effects), and over 10 mg isn’t recommended. Both drinking a lot of tea and input from drinking only treated municipal water are down around 2 mg / day, or maybe a little over, so most people are fine. That post: