I heard something the other day that I’d never heard before. We were talking about the purported benefits of jasmine tea, and green tea in general, at work the other day, and one of my coworkers said that she can’t drink green tea, because she has a horrible reaction to it. She said it made her jittery, anxious, and have big mood swings all day. After her first experience drinking green tea, she had no inclination to do so again. But with all the news about the health benefits of green tea, she tried something with green tea extract in it. Same reaction. No more green tea for her. She said she also had a friend that this might have happened to as well.
Now, I know, the plural of anecdote is not data. And I certainly drink a lot of green tea, as do many of the people I know, with no ill effects. But I was curious to see if this was an acknowledged phenomenon, given how widespread green tea and its extracts are becoming. I’m sure people can develop a food allergy to pretty much anything, but usually it’s to a certain thing in the food, and what would it be in green tea? Is it in other stuff, too?
The vast, vast majority of things Google turned up to me in the first few pages of results was the same old green tea health benefits stuff. Cure allergies! Antioxidants! Wards off ailments! Etc. (I didn’t say this was going to be an exhaustive effort, did I? Besides, I figure the top several pages of a Google search is a pretty good estimation of prevalence. Ish.)
The only thing I could find was this open letter, which appears to concentrate on the idea that green tea has a much higher concentration of flouride than is considered healthy. The writer also lays out a lot of apparent links between flouride poisoning and a variety of health issues, many of which seem related to the thyroid. Honestly, though, it’s not very gripping writing, and seems almost purposefully written in a confusing imitation of “medical journalese” style, so I just skimmed it. Ah, the writer is from the group, Parents of Flouride Poisoned Children.
Anyway, I’m not very convinced that this was my coworker’s problem, so it’s still a mystery. Has anyone else ever heard of anything like this? She doesn’t have problems with black tea, or caffeine in general, so it’s kind of an interesting question.
-posted by Dana