Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Green tea: too much of a good thing?

a cup of senchaImage via Wikipedia
Like most people, I started drinking green tea after hearing about its wonderful health benefits.  For example, research has found that green tea is beneficial for weight loss by revving up the metabolism, flushing out toxins by increasing urination - which for me was great because this helped me in blood pressure control. It even helps to control the appetite, again assisting in weight  loss.  Green tea is a great source of antioxidants which provides cellular protection from free radical damage. So, I thought, how could I go wrong?

But after drinking green tea several times a day for awhile, I started noticing some unpleasant side effects. So, I did some checking around and found the following information that I would like to share on the blog.

Green tea side effects

I began to notice gas and bloating, frequent urination, a little nervousness and a bit of insomnia.This prompted me to do some research. With just a small amount of reading, I discovered that indeed, green tea can cause frequent urination, gas and bloating, as well as nervousness due to its caffeine content.  Generally, the side effects aren't serious but can be bothersome.  For example, for some, the caffeine can cause irritability, insomnia, tachycardia, breathing problems and anxiety.

For those who are allergic to the tea, the spectrum broadens and the symptoms include rash, hives, swelling of the throat or mouth, difficulty breathing or swallowing, nausea, stomach upset and vomiting.

More serious side effects have also been reported which are possibly related to the caffeine content.  They include:

high blood pressure
heart rhythm irregularities
liver damage

So, as with most things in life, be careful, don't overdo a good thing.  Limit the amounts of gteen tea that you drink and be extra careful if you are taking the supplements.  It appears that supplementation with green tea disposes people to the more serious side effects.


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