A recent U.K. study looked at tea and health, and the results might surprise you.
Fluoride is a controversial compound. Here in the U.S., many municipalities add it to the water supply in the name of improving dental health, but some research suggests that too much fluoride could be bad for us. In fact, groups like Fluoride Out advocate against adding fluoride to drinking water for a slough of reasons. So, what does fluoride have to do with tea and health?
No matter what your stance is as far as fluoridated drinking water, there is strong evidence that too much fluoride can be detrimental to our health. More than 4mg per day can cause bone decay, muscle problems, and even chronic pain.
A U.K. study at the University of Derby found that many bulk brands of supermarket black tea contained 75 to 120 percent of your daily value of fluoride. Combine that with other fluoride sources, like fluoridated drinking water or toothpaste, and avid tea-drinkers could be taking in far more than the recommended dosage of fluoride.
Tea and Health
The study compared 38 brands of U.K. tea and found that “economy” teas and instant teas – especially supermarket brands – tended highest in fluoride. The supermarket brands they studied included Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s. Infused green tea blends were next highest on the list, with specialty teas like oolong following. closely behind.
This most recent study costs $42 to download, but you can check out excerpts of some previous research into tea and health over at Fluoride Action Network.
Unfortunately, companies don’t have to disclose fluoride levels as part of a product’s nutritional information, but as a result of this research experts are calling for a change in labeling laws.