Like other caffeinated beverages, green tea may negatively affect your calcium levels when taken in excess. Despite its reputation as a health-promoting tea, green tea contains moderate amounts of caffeine that may interfere with your body’s calcium absorption if taken in excess. For best results, talk to your doctor about the potential ramifications of adding green tea and other caffeinated products to your diet.
Tea has an extensive history in Chinese medicine as a treatment for flatulence, high blood sugar, digestive disorders and some cancers According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, green . One of the most commonly attributed benefits of green tea is its high quantity of antioxidants, which can reduce free radicals in the body. The average cup of green tea can contain anywhere between 25 and 70 mg of caffeine, making it a potential disruptor for your calcium levels.
Caffeine and Calcium Absorption
Studies cited by the Brown University website record negative impacts on calcium levels as a result of caffeine intake. Drinking as little as two cups of tea a day can decrease your body’s ability to absorb calcium. Although the effects are generally unnoticeable in healthy individuals who moderate their caffeine intake, poor diets combined with excess green tea intake can lead to calcium deficiency over time.
Green Tea and Bone Health
The Pacific Northwest Foundation website advises that patients diagnosed with osteoporosis avoid tea and other caffeinated products. In addition to inhibiting calcium absorption, caffeine can cause temporary increases in calcium excretion rates in the body, resulting in a leaching effect on calcium levels in the bones. Since minor effects can occur after drinking two cups of green tea, individuals following the recommended 200 to 300 mg of daily caffeine intake may be unknowingly effecting their calcium levels.
If you drink more than 500 mg of caffeine in a day, roughly six or more cups of green tea, you may experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including upset stomach, muscle tremors, irritability and anxiousness. Talk to your doctor before adding green tea and other caffeinated beverages to your diet if you have been diagnosed with a calcium deficiency or osteoperosis.
- The Mayo Clinic; Caffeine: How Much Is Too Much?; March 9, 2011
- The University of Maryland Medical Center; Green Tea; Steven Ehrlich; Sept. 20, 2010
- Brown University: Bone Health
- "The Journal of Nutrition"; Dietary Tannins From Cowpeas And Tea Transiently Alter Apparent Calcium Absorption But Not Absorption And Utilization Of Protein In Rats; February 1994
- Pacific Northwest Foundation: Coffee: To Drink Or Not To Drink?