We can't help but wonder about the side effects of tea, even though talk about the benefits of tea abounds...
Although tea is experiencing a revival and its popularity is growing at an astounding rate, it's still important to be aware not only of its health benefits, but of the potential risks and health effects of tea, as well.
Here are more research discoveries about possible tea side effects you may want to be aware of.
All teas from the Camellia sinensis tea plant (black, oolong, pu-erh, green, and white teas) naturally contain caffeine. While caffeine is well-known for its benefits (such as increased energy, alertness, and concentration), if your caffeine intake climbs too high or if you're sensitive to caffeine, you may experience some caffeine side effects.
Common caffeine side effects include increased heart rate, anxiety, restlessness, difficulty sleeping, dehydration, immediate-onset diarrhea, excessive urination, PMS, panic attacks, depression, tremors, and more.
And keep in mind that caffeine is a drug, so if caffeine is a mainstay in your diet, be careful if you decide to cut back or eliminate it altogether.
Reduce your intake slowly, or you may experience some withdrawal symptoms - like headaches, irritability, nausea, or grogginess.
If you are watching or cutting back on your caffeine intake, consider a naturally caffeine-free herbal tisane, such as Rooibos, cinnamon, or hibiscus tea. Remember, though, yerba mate (even though it is an herbal tea) does contain caffeine.
A Scottish study published in 2012 by researchers at the University of Glasgow linked heavy tea drinking to a greater risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Over 6000 men aged 21 to 75 years took part in this study. After preliminary data (including tea consumption) was collected from 1970 to 1973, the study participants were followed until 2007 (37 years later).
Results revealed a link between drinking tea and the risk of prostate cancer. Those who drank the most tea (over 7 cups daily) had a 50% greater risk of developing prostate cancer than those who sipped little or no tea (0 to 3 cups daily). Drinking 4 to 6 cups of tea each day didn't significantly increase the risk over a daily consumption of 0 to 3 cups.
The majority of tea drinkers in this study drank black tea.
Keep in mind, a 'link' does not necessarily mean that heavy tea drinking causes prostate cancer or that prostate cancer is one of the possible side effects of tea - it means that an association between the two was found. In other words, additional factors - such as age, stress, family history, changes in lifestyle, diet, etc. - may have influenced study results, as well.
As a whole new generation discovers tea in its many varieties and flavors, this beloved beverage is sure to continue to grow in popularity around the world.
Even though 'true' teas from the Camellia sinensis tea plant abound in flavor, aroma, and health benefits, it's still important to stay informed about any potential side effects of tea.
Use your common sense when drinking tea - don't consume excessive amounts, steep and cool tea (or any hot beverage!) slightly before that first sip, and monitor your caffeine intake - and you'll be doing your part in protecting yourself against any possible side effects from this beloved brew.
And, of course, check with your healthcare provider about safe amounts of tea for you.