Tea and Iron Deficiency (and other health concerns)
My bf saw this link on CNN and passed it on to me because of the section on red meat, and how people who drink a lot of tea may be iron deficient, and shouldn’t drink tea an hour after meals.
What do you guys think? What have you heard? Now I’m starting to wonder what my tea addiction might be doing to me aside from staining my teeth (it’s easier to live with superficial damage).
It’s funny – an hour after I read this link, a friend sent me the one about pesticides etc in tea and now I’m just clutching my cup tighter and hoping everything is ok. :P (It’s Caramel Vanilla Assam from Butiki so I know this one is at least!)
And yes, I could research the iron thing myself, but I thought I’d check first since someone else might have already looked into this. The pesticide thing has been discussed already so I’ll just head over to that discussion now for reassurance.
The problem is not tea, it is caffeine (from any source). A person cannot just absorb straight iron, iron is absorbed in conjunction with other vitamins and minerals that are being absorbed (the iron piggy backs on). Caffeine limits the absorption of some of these vitamins and minerals and therefore the iron absorption is limited.
I wouldn’t worry about it unless your caffeine intake is super excessive – ie. at unhealthy levels). Caffeine does not limit all absorption, just some of it.
(I bet this article was written by a coffee drinker :P)
Interesting. I don’t eat red meat, obviously I drink a sizeable amount of tea, and iron supplements make me sick to my stomach. Unfortunate!
Iron is very tricky. There are two kinds F++ and F+++. I remember many years ago, my Mom had difficulty with F+++ and she had to watch certain foods and avoid those with F+++. It was a very long time ago and things are different today, but it deserves looking into.
well, the good news is that iron levels are something that your doctor can easily run a simple blood test for if you’re really feeling anemic or paranoid, and something that’s easy to get as a supplement if you actually are deficient. Of course a detected iron deficiency more likely would be from an underlying medical condition, not just your tea.
Chronic anemia runs in my family. I am not giving up my tea! Teavivre recommends that tea be drunk about an hour after a meal and never on an empty stomach, so I think the Chinese at least already had the right idea about the best times to consume tea. My doctors have never told me to limit tea, and I have mentioned that I drink a lot. One of them even suggested that my tea may have been the reason for the extremely slow growth rate of the cancer I had. :)