Tea, Testosterone Doping, and Babies

Sensational headlines are hardly unusual nowadays (or in the past, for that matter, to be historically accurate about it). Five minutes of the most cursory research would probably turn up more of them than you could shake a stick at. But for my money one of the more sensational tea-related headlines to come down the pike lately is one that recently appeared in the Indian press: “Want Baby? Drink 2 Cups of Tea Daily.”

The Times of India
The Times of India - interesting reading!

Now, if your mother, father or health teacher have already had “the talk” with you, then you probably know that it’s not quite that easy. But seriously, what the accompanying article was actually trying to convey is that women who drink tea are 27 percent more likely to get pregnant than those who don’t. This from a group of researchers at Boston University who studied a group of 3,600 women who were actively trying to have a baby.

While the article was not clear on exactly what two to three cups of tea daily had to do with increasing the chances of pregnancy, researchers also found that carbonated beverages in similar amounts could reduce the chances of pregnancy up to 20 percent and that coffee drinking had no appreciable effect either way.

Green Tea
Green Tea

In other tea-related health news, a recent British study indicated that green tea might hide testosterone from the standard tests used by Olympic officials and others to detect doping. Said officials are apparently considering whether they need to tweak their tests accordingly to account for this development.

In lab tests researchers used catechins, compounds extracted from green and white tea, and found that they tended to reduce the concentration of testosterone by about 30 percent. Experts were careful to point out, however, that tea is not unique in this quality and that there are various other foods and beverages that can skew the results of doping tests. They also noted that tea’s effects appeared to be relatively minor and would probably require athletes to consume large quantities frequently to attain desired results.

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