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Tea toxic when brewed?

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  • Tea toxic when brewed?

    Has anyone looked into this? This paper would have you believe that brewing most store bought teas may introduce high levels of toxic metals. What's a tea drinker to do?

    http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jt/2013/370460/

  • #2
    I hope so. Bring it. And I want it from near Fukushima grown in human sewage. It's still considered organic.


    Honestly, my way around these stupid first world problems is to mix it up. When I have tea, I have for a few days and then go without for a few. If I were afraid of metals I wouldn't drink well water and eat liver every week. I'm more concerned about deficiency than overdose.
    Crohn's, doing SCD

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    • #3
      LOL knife I just saw your signature!

      OP-

      From the study's conclusion:
      "In regard to toxic elements tested only aluminum and lead had levels that were unacceptable. Unacceptable aluminum levels were found in 7% of teas brewed for 3 minutes and 20% of teas brewed for 15 minutes. The lead levels that were present are a significant concern during pregnancy in that 73% of the samples brewed for 3 minutes and 83% of samples brewed for 15 minutes were above 0.5 μgm/L. Despite smaller amounts of cadmium and arsenic there is concern for long-term bioaccumulation.

      The organic teas had significantly higher levels of lead contamination if left steeping for more than 15 minutes than the regular teas. Otherwise there was no significant difference in levels of contaminants between organic teas and regular off the shelf teas. Organic teas did not appear to have less toxic element contamination than regular teas even from the same company."
      [Emphasis added]

      For Lead:
      I'm super tired but I think 0.5 μg/L = .05 μg/dL. I'm not sure why this should be a concern to most adults (see: https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2584/: The lowest tier of dangerous exposure is "Between 10 and 25 g/dL, lead is building up in the body and some exposure is occuring." OR 100 to 250 g/L).

      In conclusion, the lead amount in tea is too small to worry about for healthy adults. I don't know about for pregnant females.



      For Alumninum:

      "[healthy adults can ingest] 12–71mg Al/kg/day from antacid/anti-ulcer products and 2–10mg Al/kg/day from buffered analgesics when taken at recommended dosages. Gastrointestinal absorption of aluminum is low, generally in the range of 0.1–0.4% in humans, although absorption of particularly bioavailable forms such as aluminum citrate may be on the order of 0.5–5%. " (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp22-c2.pdf)
      Highest aluminum level is 5624 μg/L or 5.624 mg/L in the tea in the study. Given the low absorption rate of aluminum AND the large amount a healthy adult can ingest PER DAY PER KG bodyweight, I wouldn't worry about it.

      In conclusion, the aluminum amount in tea is too small to worry about for healthy adults.



      Don't freak out until you do your own calculations. Not that the government's agencies are worth much, but I am too tired to google more sources.
      Last edited by turquoisepassion; 12-28-2013, 12:51 AM.
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      • #4
        So this was done on common Canadian teas. So I'm wondering; what brands of tea do people drink in Canada (and are they the same brands that I drink!)?

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        • #5
          Why brew tea for 15 minutes? IIRC, by that time the tannins will have leached out of the leaves and the tea will be bitter.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MudLily View Post
            Why brew tea for 15 minutes? IIRC, by that time the tannins will have leached out of the leaves and the tea will be bitter.
            Not to mention ice cold.
            F 28/5'4/100 lbs

            "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MudLily View Post
              Why brew tea for 15 minutes? IIRC, by that time the tannins will have leached out of the leaves and the tea will be bitter.
              A lot of (crazy) people let their tea bag just sit in the teacup while they sip it, so by halfway through the cup it's been sitting in there for 15-20 minutes.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lyte View Post
                A lot of (crazy) people let their tea bag just sit in the teacup while they sip it, so by halfway through the cup it's been sitting in there for 15-20 minutes.
                I don't know anybody who does this. The flavor of tea stops extracting when the water is cooled, but teabags are kind of nasty anyway.

                The thread title is misleading anyway, because it implies that brewing tea leaves makes them unhealthy, and they're healthier consumed some other way.
                Last edited by eKatherine; 12-28-2013, 07:22 AM.

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                • #9
                  if tea was toxic, i'd be dead. have been drinking at least 3 cups a day over 30 years.

                  these chicken little headlines are so stoopid.
                  As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                  Ernest Hemingway

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MudLily View Post
                    Why brew tea for 15 minutes? IIRC, by that time the tannins will have leached out of the leaves and the tea will be bitter.
                    I steep teas longer than that... when I'm using fruit teas and making ICED tea. I just leave the teacup sitting and get back to it whenever. For normal teas, never.
                    Out of context quote for the day:

                    Clearly Gorbag is so awesome he should be cloned, reproducing in the normal manner would only dilute his awesomeness. - Urban Forager

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mutton View Post
                      So this was done on common Canadian teas. So I'm wondering; what brands of tea do people drink in Canada (and are they the same brands that I drink!)?
                      They're probably doing cheap stuff like Tetley, so I imagine it's the same. Personally I drink Teatopia, which probably wasn't used.
                      Out of context quote for the day:

                      Clearly Gorbag is so awesome he should be cloned, reproducing in the normal manner would only dilute his awesomeness. - Urban Forager

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by eKatherine View Post
                        I don't know anybody who does this. The flavor of tea stops extracting when the water is cooled, but teabags are kind of nasty anyway.

                        The thread title is misleading anyway, because it implies that brewing tea leaves makes them unhealthy, and they're healthier consumed some other way.
                        You haven't heard of Teapots??? Many still use teapots to brew their tea, not just a tea bag in a mug, so the first cup may have less, but when they refill it would have been brewed for 15 min or longer.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hotmail View Post
                          You haven't heard of Teapots??? Many still use teapots to brew their tea, not just a tea bag in a mug, so the first cup may have less, but when they refill it would have been brewed for 15 min or longer.
                          Not if they're brewing their tea correctly, they're not. You brew it in the pot, but then decant it to the cup/mug and decant the rest to a smaller pot so it's NOT sitting with the tea leaves in it. I do this every night (I work nights, so it's the beginning of my day) and put the smaller pot under a tea cozy so it's still fairly warm when I go back to get the second cup.

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                          • #14
                            The longer I steep my tea better it tightens my skin and flushes my tissues (pee time!). As far as I'm concerned ten minutes is a minimum steeping time. I usually use loose-leaf in a metal steeping thingy or four bags of green tea per cup.
                            Crohn's, doing SCD

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