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Green tea can cause anemia?


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#1 platypus

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 03:17 PM


I just got my blood tests back, basically everything is OK except that during the past one year I've developed a very slight anemia. I'm wondering whether drinking green matcha-tea daily has caused this since according to the interwebs green tea can interfere with iron absorption. Does anyone have any insights to this issue and how I could mitigate it? I do want to keep drinking that matcha... :)
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#2 FunkOdyssey

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 03:22 PM

I just got my blood tests back, basically everything is OK except that during the past one year I've developed a very slight anemia. I'm wondering whether drinking green matcha-tea daily has caused this since according to the interwebs green tea can interfere with iron absorption. Does anyone have any insights to this issue and how I could mitigate it? I do want to keep drinking that matcha..


While I would also lean toward impaired iron absorption from the matcha if you are anemic without any other health problems, make no assumptions. Deficiencies of folic acid and B12 can cause anemia just as easily. Get an iron deficiency panel done (iron, ferritin, TIBC) to determine if your theory is correct before you take any action. If it is iron deficiency, I would be more inclined to just supplement with a little iron than to cut back on matcha.
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#3 Zoroaster

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 07:00 AM

While I would also lean toward impaired iron absorption from the matcha if you are anemic without any other health problems, make no assumptions. Deficiencies of folic acid and B12 can cause anemia just as easily. Get an iron deficiency panel done (iron, ferritin, TIBC) to determine if your theory is correct before you take any action. If it is iron deficiency, I would be more inclined to just supplement with a little iron than to cut back on matcha.


I agree with everything Funk Odyssey said, and I would also add that if you're just going off of your hematocrit, that reading varies greatly with your level of hydration. I was a phlebotomist for several years at a plasma center and we had people get turned away all the time as "too anemic" because they had a glass or two of water that morning. Anyway, get more tests done before you decide to do anything.
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#4 Mixter

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 10:37 AM

Iron shouldn't be below the normal serum levels,
but iron at the lowest normal value is good for
life extension (dunno whether ideal for exercise though).

Iron accumulates with age and even a little
excess iron can damage the mitochondria (electron
transport chain and otherwise) so this is why
low-normal iron is a good thing.
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#5 openeyes

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 01:54 AM

Iron shouldn't be below the normal serum levels,
but iron at the lowest normal value is good for
life extension (dunno whether ideal for exercise though).

Iron accumulates with age and even a little
excess iron can damage the mitochondria (electron
transport chain and otherwise) so this is why
low-normal iron is a good thing.


I wonder how much of the health benefit of green tea is from reducing iron absorption. I donate blood in part to keep iron levels down.
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