Is drinking tea bad for you? Clearly not. Yet this is the exact question asked by the title of a recent article in The Guardian newspaper. Apparently, some studies have suggested that drinking an excessive amount of tea can cause brittle bones. And by excessive, they really do mean excessive (a gallon a day), even by this tea enthusiast’s standards.
(I might add that, apart from being excessive, drinking this amount of tea every day would swiftly plunge me into serious debt).
It’s not exactly rocket science: eating or drinking anything in excess is bound to have some adverse effects on the body as it will be overloaded with one chemical or another, and at the same time deprived of necessary nutrients that the particular food or drink lacks. Why should tea be an exception? (The fact that it is tasty is not an acceptable answer!) Moreover, the specific claim about bone health is interesting, since in the past, there have been studies that suggest the exact opposite: that tea can contribute to bone health.
What is interesting about this article though, is that it provides a refreshing change from the countless studies that suggest tea is a wonder-substance, seemingly beneficial to just about every health issue a person could have. When I first saw the headline, I have to admit, I misread it; I am so used to seeing headlines about how beneficial tea is that I switched out ‘bad’ for ‘good’ in my head.
So where does this latest addition to the tea and health debate leave us? In pretty much the same place that we started: health studies have to be taken with a pinch of salt as every body is different, and use your common sense. Plus, what is more influential than a specific food or drink item is your lifestyle as a whole, and moderation is always a good way to go. Bottom line? Tea is tasty. Ergo, I will drink tea. Just not too much.
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