How Much Tea is Too Much

As the old adage say: “Too much of a good thing can be bad”. Well, that is absolutely true. Too much of anything beneficial or useful thing can be harmful or excessive, and the same also applies to drinking tea.

In an unusual case report published in one of the weekly edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, physicians at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit were said to have treated a 47-year old Michigan woman who had been complaining of pain from her lower back, hips, legs and arms. Also, she was missing all of her teeth since they have become brittle.

Doctors were pretty sure that something was wrong with her bones and as shown by her X-ray, the vertebrae in her spine revealed signs of a painful condition called skeletal fluorosis.

Skeletal fluorosis is a bone disease brought by excessive increase of fluoride in the bones. Pain and damage to the bones and joints are just some of its symptoms in advanced cases.

So, to confirm their findings, doctors gave the woman a blood test to measure the fluoride concentration in her body. A normal healthy person has less than 0.10 mg fluoride per liter of blood. Unfortunately, the woman had 0.43 mg. per liter of blood.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skeletal fluorosis can be incurred by people who drink water with high fluoride concentrations and those who work as industrial workers who inhale fluoride dust and fumes. However, neither of those conditions was a factor with the woman. She only admitted to drinking lots of tea.

For most people, tea is not a huge source of fluoride. While others say that a liter of tea contains 1 to 5 milligrams, other claimed that its fluoride concentration per liter could be as high as 9 mg. And, excessive tea drinkers have been revealed to develop skeletal fluorosis.

In two reported cases of Skeletal fluorosis, in the first case, a 48-year old woman who developed the condition admitted to having consumed 1 to 2 gallons of brewed orange pekoe tea daily for more than three decades, while in the second case, a 49-year old woman incurred the condition after consuming two gallons of instant tea daily since she was 12-year old.

However, on the other note, the Michigan woman cited that what she was consuming then was not the typical tea we used to prepare. In fact, she brewed her tea with 100 to 150 tea bags per pitcher – such a quite strong brew.

Hopefully, we would be able to learn from their not so pleasant tea drinking experience. Just drink moderately.

One Tap Lifestyle