August 25, 2011

Can Drinking Tea Lead To Iron Deficiency?

Tea lovers agree that drinking tea can help the drinkers get the required energy during the tiring day. Consuming tea regularly you will get many benefits such as : increase mental alertness,  increase the rate of metabolism, helps lose weight, maintain the level of cholesterol in blood,  protects you from diseases of cardiovascular,diabetes and some types of cancers. Tea also helps lower the levels of stress hormones in the body and fight depression. It will strengthen both your immune system and bones. Therefore tea becomes number one reference as the healthiest drink around the world. However, tea lovers must be aware of excessive consumption of tea for according to a study report released by the "Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics" stated that " excessive consumption of tannin through tea can inhibit non-heme iron absorption in your body and can thus lead to iron deficiency"

The two forms of dietary iron are heme and non-heme. Heme iron comes from meat and non-heme iron comes from plant sources such as : cereal grains, legumes, dried beans, nuts, tofu, potatoes, raisins, broccoli and other leafy vegetables. A study stated that tannins in tea can affect the absorption process of non-heme iron even though the iron absorption process depends on some factors like your overall health and balanced diet. Tannins do not inhibit the process of heme iron absorption process.

If vegans and vegetarians drink tea along with their meals, they are at a greater risk of developing an iron deficiency.. Those who seldom consume fish or meat should check their iron levels regularly and should take proper care to prevent iron deficiency anemia. Those who are suffered from diseases of kidney, celiac or Crohn's should keep alert on the levels blood iron. Studies have shown that those who drink tea in between meals or immediately after the meals, usually have low blood iron levels that effects devastating, especially for pregnant and breastfeeding women, babies and toddlers, teenage girls and athletes as they need more iron. For people who are diagnosed with iron deficiency, it is dangerous to consume tea excessively, but it is helpful for people who has problem of hemochromatosis ( problem of too much iron stored in the body)

In order to have healthy blood iron levels, you are necessary to know foods that inhibit iron absorption and promote iron absorption along with good sources of iron such as tannins in tea; soy proteins, calcium, polyphenols and phytates present in legumes and whole grains (in the bran of wheat, oats, maize and other cereals) can also inhibit the process of iron absorption in the body. Over-steeping the tea releases more tannins (resulting in bitter taste). Avoid drinking over-brewed tea and avoid drinking tea along with meals. Low absorption of non-heme iron depends upon the type of tea you consume.

If you follow a diet that is rich in iron, then one or two cups of tea daily would not make any difference. But drinking too much of tea during the day can affect the process of absorption of non-heme iron. Iron is a vital mineral as it plays an important role in the formation of healthy blood, transfer of oxygen to body cells and formation of various enzymes. You should plan your diet in such a way that whatever vitamins and minerals you provide regularly, do not destroy your life due to wrong combination of foods and drinks.

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