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Iron deficiency: Tea consumption may ‘interfere with iron absorption' and raise your risk

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Iron deficiency is rife, particularly among women and people who have a diet low in the nutrient. It is one of the main causes of anaemia, which leaves individuals feeling lethargic and looking pale. Symptoms, however, depend on the severity of the condition. While it is important to emphasise the right foods to avoid a deficiency, excessive consumption of certain tea could contribute to the condition.

The body needs iron to produce a substance in red blood cells that enables them to carry haemoglobin or oxygen.

Depleted oxygen levels are the reason individuals end up feeling tired and short of breath.

Iron is found predominantly in food, so the majority of deficiencies are put down to inadequate dietary intake.

But researchers have identified some molecules in herbal teas that could interfere with the absorption of the nutrient.

READ MORE: Iron deficiency symptoms: What to eat to beat symptoms of tiredness and headaches

A clinical case report published in 2016, found that “tea interferes with iron absorption and leads to iron deficiency anaemia when consumed in large quantities”.

The compound responsible for this is tannins, which has been shown to reduce the body’s absorption of iron from plant sources.

VeryWell Health explains: “Tannin found in black tea gives it its dark reddish-brown colour and characteristic full-bodied, astringent flavour.

“Although the amount of tannins in black tea varies depending on the variety, growing condition and processing method, black tea is considered one of the major sources of tannins in the human diet.

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“Other significant sources include red wine, oak-aged white wine, chocolate and coffee.”

Alongside oxalates, the naturally-occurring tea compounds, are particularly abundant in herbal teas and can bind to iron.

This could predispose individuals to anaemia, particularly if individuals do not eat meat and other potent iron sources.

The authors of one 2016 case study noted: “The rechallenge effect of green tea on anaemia in a middle-aged man emphasises the potential causal role of this beverage.

“Lifestyle and dietary habits are important diagnostic considerations in diseases of this type.

“The fact that iron absorption can be reduced by tea consumption has been recognised for many years, with the inhibitory effects predominantly facilitated by the marked iron-binding properties of the phenolic compounds bearing catechol groups in tea.

“A review of clinical data has previously shown that haemoglobin levels rise significantly after withdrawing from tea consumption in two reported cases.”

Improvements in iron deficiency after abstinence are not necessarily an indication that tea consumption should be avoided, however.

In a 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists found that tea consumed with a meal decreased iron absorption.

The findings, however, revealed that tea consumed one hour after a meal didn’t decrease absorption to the same extent.

What’s more, the findings are inconsistent with previous research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which looked at the iron levels of 954 healthy adults and estimated their tea intake.

This time researchers did not find an association between iron levels and intake or black, green and herbal tea consumption.

There wasn’t evidence of a correlation between the strength of the tea, infusion time, time of drinking and iron levels either.



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Ruud van Nistelrooy makes next job decision as Man Utd plan coaching appointment

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That decision failed to pay off, however, with the Red Devils sacking Moyes after just 10 months in charge.

After the current West Ham boss came Van Gaal, who arrived with big things expected due to his past success at the likes of Barcelona and Ajax.

Giggs was hoping to get the Red Devils job himself, which was why he stayed, but both ended up leaving nearly six years ago.

When Jose Mourinho took over, he opted to maintain his close relationship with Rui Faria – who had previously worked under him at clubs such as Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Fair departed in the summer of 2018, though, with Michael Carrick then given a place on Mourinho’s bench.

Carrick stayed to work under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the Norwegian also regularly picking up the thoughts of Phelan and Kieran McKenna throughout his spell in the dugout.

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High cholesterol: Blood pressure drug linked to significant reduction in good cholesterol

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“Though they’re commonly used to treat different forms of heart disease, beta-blockers can significantly reduce HDL levels.”

Among the beta-blockers that cause this are Corgard (nadolol), Inderal (propranolol), Tenormin (atenolol), Zebeta (bisoprolol).

These drugs are widely used in the treatment of angina, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, heart attack and high blood pressure.

But despite concerns about their effect on cholesterol, scientists stress that the benefits of beta-blockers far outweigh the risks.

VeryWell Health adds: “If your beta-blocker affects your cholesterol significantly, your doctor may lower your dose or switch you to a different medication.”



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Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez not on same page over Saudi Arabia GP after missile attack

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However, after a four-hour meeting between race officials and the teams, it was confirmed the race would go ahead despite the attack. It had been reported that a number of the competing drivers were concerned for their safety following the nearby explosion.

Despite this, an agreement was finally reached to race at 2:30am local time, after team chiefs left the lengthy meeting to confirm: “We will be racing.” A statement from Formula 1 confirmed Sunday’s race would go ahead as planned. It read: “Formula 1 has been in close contact with the relevant authorities following the situation that took place today. The authorities have confirmed that the event can continue as planned and we will remain in close contact with them and all the teams and closely monitor the situation.”

Unsurprisingly, there were a number of mixed views on whether the race should go ahead, and this is clearly apparent in the Red Bull setup. This comes after advisor Helmut Marko revealed that drivers Verstappen and Perez are not on the same page when it comes to racing.

JUST IN: F1 drivers ‘had concerns’ about Saudi Arabia GP as new details emerge after missile attack

On the issue, Marko told Sky Germany: “Max is a bit more relaxed about it. Perez is a little bit scared, but when you live in Mexico City there’s not much more security. We have the pandemic, we have the war in Europe and now we have a missile attack 20 kilometres away. This is no longer normal or pleasant.”

Ahead of tomorrow’s race though, the Austrian advisor is firmly on the side of Verstappen and the race officials, supporting the idea of the race taking place. He commented: “I really think it’s the right thing to do. As I said, these drone attacks are common, I think. They have a very good defence system. Why this one didn’t work remains to be seen. It’s not the first drone, after all. But it’s the first one to strike on such a scale.”

The attack took place during Friday’s first practice session, and it was Red Bull’s star man Verstappen who was one of the first to realise something was wrong after reporting on his team radio that he could ‘smell burning’. Initially, the Dutchman thought the smell was coming from either his or one of his rival’s cars, however it then became clear that an explosion had taken place just a few miles from the track.

Giving an insight into Verstappen’s initial worries, Marko said: “Max radioed us, he thought his car had caught fire because there was an intense burning smell. We were informed a drone had been sent from Yemen. The Saudis have a defence system and for some reason the drone was not intercepted.”



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