The second most popular drink globally, every single day 1.42 million pounds of tea are consumed by Americans only. Tea doesn’t only soothe the senses, but the addictive beverage also comes with a bunch of health benefits. It is packed with antioxidants that can combat oxidative stress, it can take down the risk of heart attack and stroke, and it can also help with weight loss.
Tea also enhances immunity, relaxes digestive health, and works against certain cancers. Tea can lower cholesterol as well as stress along with improving cognitive abilities such as concentration, memory, and focus.
However, it is not as if all is bright about tea. The beverage that comes in many varieties also has some adverse side effects linked with its over consumption. Here’s a look at some of the negative effects which have been associated with tea:
1 – Hot tea is linked to esophageal cancer
While tea is tastiest when served hot, be sure to not drink it so hot that you drive its negative side effects toward yourself than gaining its health benefits. A latest study shows that drinking tea that is sizzling hot can substantially increase esophageal cancer risk.
This research has been published in International Journal of Cancer and it has found that people who drink more cups of tea and that also when it is hotter than 140 degrees Fahrenheit, are at a 90% higher risk of developing esophageal cancer than those who drink fewer cups of tea and cool it down a bit before sipping.
This is not the first study that shows that too hot tea can be harmful. Another research which was carried out last year in China and was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal came to a similar conclusion. It found that people who drank piping hot tea along with drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco have a 5x higher risk of esophageal cancer in comparison to people who don’t have these habits.
2 – Too much tea is bad for the bones
Drinking excessively a lot of tea can have another detrimental impact on your health – it can make your bones weak. A 47-year-old woman was found to have developed a rare bone-related disease called skeletal fluorosis because of too much tea consumption. The study talking about this woman who lost all her teeth too because of the condition was published in 2013 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
The explanation behind this is simple – tea contains fluoride, a mineral which shouldn’t be consumed in excess. While fluoride leaves the body through excretion, some deposits may form on the bones and damage them. However, fluoride is also found in water. Note that older tea leaves contain more fluoride than younger ones which is why younger leaves must be preferred.
On the other hand, some studies also show that certain kinds of teas can have a beneficial impact of bones by increasing bone mineral density. A study that analyzes the relationship between teas and osteoporosis has shown that drinking tea can decrease osteoporosis risk.
3 – Excess caffeine is not good for health
Several researchers have found that tea contains more caffeine than even coffee when it hasn’t been brewed. After preparation though, tea’s caffeine content is diluted. The caffeine in tea, and also in coffee, can boost your mood but it can also increase your heart rate and flow of blood to the brain.
Some research also shows that caffeine can increase anxiety by triggering the production of stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. Caffeine also has an impact on blood glucose which is why too much of it is not good for the people who have diabetes. Moreover, caffeine also causes calcium loss which, in turn, can up the risk of osteoporosis.
What’s more, if you want a restful sleep, it would be a better idea to not gulp down tea before heading to bed as tea can heighten the senses due to its caffeine content which can cause insomnia. Caffeine also is addictive which means leaving tea can cause withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, nausea, and headaches.
4 – Tea has been linked to prostate cancer
A study which was conducted by the University of Glasgow found that overdosing on tea, say drinking more than 7 cups a day, is linked to prostate cancer. This study was published in the Nutrition and Cancer Journal and said that excess tea consumption could increase prostate cancer risk by 50%.
However, more research needs to be conducted in this area to prove that tea may have a negative link with prostate cancer. It has been noted that green tea has a positive impact on prostate cancer and black tea has almost no impact on it at all – either positive or negative.
So, it can be said that whether or not tea can cause prostate cancer depends on several other factors such as age, genetics, and other lifestyle choices. Furthermore, a large European study which was published in the International Journal of Cancer in 2018 found that tea and coffee both didn’t share any association with prostate cancer at all.
Tea is a healthy drink and a favorite of many. Unfortunately, some negative side effects are also linked to it. Firstly, it has been found that drinking tea that is too hot can increase esophageal risk by 90%. In this regard, one must not drink tea which is hotter than 140-degree Fahrenheit.
Secondly, some research says that excess tea consumption is linked to bone-related problems. However, a lot more research is needed in this area because some tea types are said to reduce osteoporosis risk.
Thirdly, tea contains caffeine which, in excess amounts, can be harmful for health. Lastly, some research also shows that tea causes prostate cancer. However, again here more studies are needed to give a definite proof. It can be said that it is best to consume tea in moderate amounts because nothing is good in excess amounts.