Two or three cups total. :) Thanks for the information. I feel pretty good when I can say no to donuts and satisfy myself with a cup of tea; if I had to give up the tea too that would be pretty discouraging.
I clicked on this thread because I love green tea and black tea and drink 2 or 3 cups a day between meals. I was surprised to see that tea can interfere with iron absorption. I didn't know that. I have had problems with low iron, and my doctor put me on iron supplements and had me stop giving blood for awhile. My last blood test was normal.
I like tea and it helps me deal with the hunger pangs of dieting, and gives me a nice little treat as an alternative to the sweet stuff and junk food people bring in at work. At just 2 or 3 cups a day between meals, hopefully I'm not in danger of lowering my iron levels again.
This is what I suggest that you do, since research will not really help explain the situation more. Sounds like you are wanting to know what to do for yourself. Is this correct?
For pregnant women--(who need a much larger amount or iron) tea and coffee intake and iron stores is monitored several times throughout the 9 months. If a woman is found to be low--additional supplementation is given.
For you, ( I assume not pregnant), I would talk to your doctor. It is very easy to have your iron stores checked along with typical blood work at your next appointment. If you are found to be normal---than assume that with your tea intake, food intake, etc---you are fine. If the doctor reports that you are low, then you may want to discuss, cutting back on the tea or supplementing. And always talk to your doctor about iron type and amount (if needed with a supplement).
For now, if you take a multivitamin-mineral supplement---do not use tea as the beverage to use for consumption. It is advised to give your body about 1-2 hours delay...so that the supplement and tea are not in the stomach at the same time.
That was a very informational fact sheet on iron. Forgive me, but I'm hoping you'll point out what it is that should concern me about drinking lots of tea. I don't see much of a connection between the fact sheet and mineral mal-absorption/disruption from high amounts of tea. Calcium and dairy...? Ok. It talked of iron deficiency and iron toxicity... Could you point out or provide more information on the subject of tea?
"Iron and mineral interactions Some researchers have raised concerns about interactions between iron, zinc, and calcium. When iron and zinc supplements are given together in a water solution and without food, greater doses of iron may decrease zinc absorption. However, the effect of supplemental iron on zinc absorption does not appear to be significant when supplements are consumed with food [1,87-88]. There is evidence that calcium from supplements a and dairy foods may inhibit iron absorption, but it has been very difficult to distinguish between the effects of calcium on iron absorption versus other inhibitory factors such as phytate ."
The research studies were not helpful for me on this topic.
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When you're thirsty.
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Thanks for the information. I had never heard that tea can decrease iron absorption. Looks like I should either switch my morning multivitamin or change out my morning green tea!
Actually tea can decrease iron absorption up to 80%. It should not be used a the beverage when taking your multivitamin-mineral supplement; and should not be used as a beverage with meals for those struggling with iron stores. It can also decrease absorption of folic acid too.
Recommendations suggest no more than about 5-6 cups of tea daily. Dietitian Becky
You would have to drink a LOT of tea to interfere with your mineral, etc absorption. Chances are you're safe. I start each day off with a pot of green tea followed by a pot of black. I enjoy chia seeds soaked in my tea (kinda like "bubble tea"). I used to drink 2-4 cups of coffee a day, especially in the morning. Switching to tea is much gentler on my adrenals and digestion. I have not noticed anything negative and highly recommend it. I limit the caffeine after 3:30pm... And green tea's benefits are amazing!
Becky--the study they are talking about is probably the one done in Germany a few years ago. Again, it was a "small" study. I am not aware of anything else out there.
I have heard that drinking large amounts of tea can decrease your iron levels though. I had a friend who was an iced tea addict in the summer and was with him at a Red Cross blood drive and his iron was too low. The first thing they asked was how much tea he had been drinking. (He drank a LOT!) They told him to lay off it a couple days and then come back. So I don't think it lowers it for long. But again--I only know this from the Red Cross people telling him that not any study.
Tea can impede the absorption of iron from fruits and vegetables. Adding lemon or skim milk or drinking tea between meals will counteract this problem.
Drink 3 cups of tea daily to lower cholesterol. The antioxidants in green, black, and oolong teas can help block the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (good) cholesterol and improve artery function. A Chinese study published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed a 46%-65% reduction in hypertension risk in regular consumers of oolong or green tea, compared to non-consumers of tea. Drinking tea could helps to expand arteries, so as to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Black tea is bursting with health-promoting antioxidants, however if you are on blood thinning meds it could interfere withthe meds....Talk to you doctor first.
Green Tea One of these health benefits provided by green tea is the ability to help diabetics break down glucose and lower blood glucose levels. This is due primarily to the substance known as EGCG which is found in green tea.
All tea contains flavonoids, which act as antioxidants that help protect the cells of the body against damage caused by free radicals For those people with Diabetes, drinking black tea could help to decrease the glucose level
It is not the issue of mazimizing the benefits of green tea--- It is so that the tannic acid in tea (black or green), coffee, (regular and decafe)...does not decrease the absorption of iron and folic acid.
You would not want to drink the tea at the same time as you take a multivitamin-mineral supplement. Fine to have it as an occasional beverage with a meal; but not always.
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What is the best time of day to drink it to maximize benefits? With food? Without food? I read an article about it but dont rememeber when or where... Please help!!!
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