It's not news that tea (Camellia sinensis) can be good for our health
, offering benefits related to heart disease, cancer, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, dental health, and even weight loss. However, good things in excess do not always remain good, as in the case of the woman who drank one to two gallons of double-strength iced tea per day. Tea contains naturally elevated levels of fluoride, which is part of its contribution to good dental health. Too much fluoride in the diet can cause skeletal fluorosis, a painful condition in which bones become both more dense and more brittle. Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine
in St. Louis tested regular strength preparations, in fluoride-free water, of several commercially available instant teas. Fluoride concentrations ranged from 1.0 to 6.5 parts per million. The maximum level allowed in drinking water is 4 ppm (Environmental Protection Agency), in bottled water and beverages the limit is 2.4 ppm (U. S. Food and Drug Administration), and the U.S. Public Health Service recommends a concentration in drinking water of no more than 1.2 ppm. Brewed and bottled teas were not included in this study.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005 at
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