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Green Tea Side Effects and Who Must Avoid It?

As of late, there has been a lot of hype created over the benefits of Green Tea and how it helps to keep the body healthy. The hype surrounding Green Tea and the fact that it is easily available in the market has led to overconsumption of this product by many people. This has resulted in certain health risks that have been noted due to Green Tea or Green Tea extract [1].

Studies have revealed that overconsumption of Green Tea can cause liver damage which is a serious threat. Green Tea also at times reacts with certain prescription medications and decreases their effectiveness. It can also react with certain herbs to cause significant damage to the overall health of an individual. These risks however in no way diminish the benefits of Green Tea when taken in moderation [1].

One of the ingredients present in Green Tea called tannins tends to increase acid in the stomach resulting in various gastrointestinal problems like constipation or stomach ache. Studies suggest that drinking Green Tea in moderation of less than 2-3 cups a day is good for health and safe for adults [2].

Coming to Green Tea Extracts, it is also considered to be quite safe when applied topically or taken orally if done for a limited time period. This article highlights some of the side effects of Green Tea and who must avoid consuming it [2].

Green Tea Side Effects and Who Must Avoid It?

Green Tea Side Effects

Some of the major side effects of Green Tea and Green Tea Extract include

  • Throbbing headaches which can at times be incapacitating
  • Sleep Issues has also been observed in some people who overuse Green Tea
  • Due to the tannins present in Green Tea and the acid that it produces in the stomach, it causes various problems like constipation, diarrhea, nausea and at times vomiting Heartburn is also something that can be caused due to overconsumption of Green Tea
  • Some people who have a history of overusing Green Tea have complained of tinnitus, dizziness, and irregular heartbeat
  • There have also been some cases of mental confusion caused by overconsumption of Green Tea [2]

Who Must Avoid Consuming Green Tea?

People with certain underlying medical conditions should avoid having Green Tea. Some of these medical conditions include:

Gastrointestinal Dysfunction. it is recommended for people with gastrointestinal dysfunction to avoid Green Tea. This is because Green Tea contains tannins which increase acid production in the stomach. This results in the individual ending up with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation [2].

This is precisely the reason why Green Tea should never be consumed on an empty stomach. Additionally, people with a history of irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, or peptic ulcer disease should not consume Green Tea excessively as it can worsen their condition [2].

Iron Deficiency. People who have less iron in their body should also avoid drinking Green Tea. This is because Green Tea impairs the absorption of iron from the food that is eaten. This further reduces iron levels in the body which can be at times quite serious [2].

Studies also reveal that Green Tea significantly impairs the absorption of non-heme iron by as much as 25-30%. Non-heme iron comes from dairy and poultry products like eggs, milk, and beans. However, this effect of Green Tea can be suppresses by adding slight lemon juice to the tea or drinking the tea in between meals. By this way the absorption of iron does not affected by Green Tea [2].

Psychiatric Disorders. People with psychiatric disorders like nervousness, anxiety, or shakiness should avoid Green Tea. This is because just like other forms of tea Green Tea also has excess of caffeine and therefore it can worsen the symptoms of anxiety and nervousness [2].

Pregnant/Breastfeeding Females. Since Green Tea contains excess of caffeine, tannic acids, and catechin, pregnant females should avoid this product as it increases risks during pregnancy. The safe amount to drink during pregnancy is at maximum 2 cups a day of green tea [2].

Anything above two cups of Green Tea a day can prove risky for would-be mother including a slight risk of a miscarriage. In addition, caffeine present in Green Tea can get mixed with the breast milk and when the mother feeds the baby it can have negative effects on the infant [2].

Anemia. People who are anemic should also avoid drinking too much of Green Tea. This is because Green tea contains catechin which impairs absorption of iron. This leads to even lower levels of iron in the body which can be life threatening for an anemic individual [2].

If an individual is a Green Tea lover and is anemic then the best time to have it is between meals as this is when the effects of Green Tea is the least pertaining to absorption of iron. The meals in such cases should be rich in iron and vitamin C like meat and lemon [2].

Diabetes: Green Tea is also not believed to be good for diabetics. This is because Green Tea can lead to spikes in blood sugar. Thus it is recommended that close monitoring of blood sugar should be done for individuals who have a habit of drinking Green Tea [2].

Liver Dysfunction. People with liver dysfunction should also avoid drinking Green Tea as studies have suggested this drink amplifies the damage to the liver, especially concentrated Green Tea extracts. Additionally the caffeine present in Green Tea also affects the functioning of the liver and may aggravate the condition [2].

Osteoporosis. People with weak and brittle bones also should avoid Green Tea in excess. This is because it increases the amount of calcium excreted from the body. Thus drinking at maximum two cups of Green Tea in a day is best for people with osteoporosis. Additionally, people should also take calcium supplements to replenish the lost calcium due to caffeine from Green tea [2].


Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 12, 2019

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