Tea Consumption and Iron Absorption

Tea consumption has received much press lately regarding its effect on the bodies ability to successfully absorb iron. The good news is most healthy people who are not iron deficient and are considered “healthy” don’t have much to worry about if they’re tea drinkers and were considering changing their tea drinking habits.

The most common nutritional deficiency worldwide is the lack of iron stemming from improper nutrition. Iron is needed by the body to carry out many metabolic processes; ultimately, when deprived of iron, a person is at a higher risk of being diagnosed with anemia.

Here are some interesting facts regarding iron and tea consumption:

Dietary Iron Sources

Iron comes from two distinct sources:

Haem Iron originates from an animal product and is found in meat, liver, and meat products. 20% to 40% of haem iron from the food source is absorbed into the body when ingested.

Non-haem originates from plant foods such as cereal, vegetables, fruit, dried fruits etc… This type of iron is considered poorly absorbed and around 5% of the non-haem iron from these food sources is actually absorbed into the body. So…

Heam iron – hemoglobin and myoglobin of animals – easily absorbed

Non-haem iron – plant foods – not as easily absorbed

Tea Drinking and Iron Absorption

The actual component that blocks the absorption of iron into the body is a “Phenolic compound” found in tea, coffee, red wine and leafy vegetables.

Non-haem iron is more influenced by tea consumption than haem iron. This means that diets that rely on iron intake from cereal, vegetables, nuts, fruits as a total source of nutrition may be negatively impacted by tea drinking than diets rely on haem iron sources like red meats and animal products.

Also, haem iron present in foods like meat, offal and meat products are readily absorbed and tea drinking has no real effect on iron absorption.

Practical Advice for Tea Drinkers Concerned About Iron Absorption

  • There is no real evidence to suggest that tea drinking will adversely affect iron absorption if you are not at risk for iron deficiency and are eating a well-balanced diet.
  • Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron while eating. So, why not try drinking orange or grapefruit juice with meals to aid in absorbing iron.
  • Evidence confirms that certain age groups are more likely to have poor “iron status” ie.. children under 6, adolescent girls, women between age 18-49, and women over 75 years of age.
  • If you’re at risk for iron deficiency you should avoid drinking tea with meals, however…
  • 3-4 cups of tea daily spread out over the day (not at meal time)has a very little effect on iron absorption
  • Tea has many other health benefits so 3-4 cups daily may promote these as well


Tea drinkers shouldn’t worry about the adverse effects of iron absorption unless they are within one of the at-risk group for iron deficiency. If you think you are at risk consult your physician prior to consuming tea, otherwise enjoy the many health benefits associated with, for example, oolong tea drinking.

Rooibos – cancer prevention

Looking For A Natural Anti-Oxidant?

The following article about “Rooibos” is printed with permission from GHS, we felt it well worth your time to read, especially those interested in powerful – natural antioxidants.

Rooibos – “A Powerful Anti-Oxidant”

Before I give you evidence of how ridiculous this statement is, I want to tell you a little about cancer and rooibos tea, the tea that Good Health Supplements recommends.

Numerous studies have also been run with rooibos tea with regard to preventing cancer.

We don’t hear much about these studies because rooibos tea is not yet as popular a drink as green tea. Many of these studies were run parallel with green and black teas, with the studies coming to similar conclusions, and in some cases, rooibos tea showed more positive results.

These positive conclusions are a result of the high, varied and powerful anti-oxidants contained in rooibos tea.

What is also significant is that rooibos tea naturally contains no caffeine or acid, as do both green and black teas. Exceedingly more important is the fact that (redbush) rooibos tea, and especially the extract from the green rooibos plant, is the only tea and pure extract to contain the very powerful anti-oxidant Aspalathax.

Aspalathax cannot be found in any other plant in the world!

Aspalathox is a very powerful anti-oxidant in the fight to prevent cancer and other major developed diseases. It gives the immune system a strong boost. The powerful anti-oxidants found in the extract from the rooibos plant will also aid in the prevention of viral and bacterial diseases.

With all of this, you need to ask yourself, how in the face of so many world-wide studies to the contrary, can the FDA make the statement they made?

Also ask yourself if this is just another shot fired in their battle against alternative and preventative means for preventing and curing disease?

Is what they are doing all about protecting their pro-active position on drugs while ignoring the truth regarding alternative possibilities? Let’s see.

Here are some proofs the FDA has chosen to ignore. Check out these reports. I know you will find them interesting. I just cite these few to add to the two the FDA cited, but there are many, many studies that have come to the same conclusion, research that has been done in so many countries around the world concluding that the anti-oxidants in green tea is a major aid in preventing cancer. Are all these scientists wrong?

  • In 2004, the American Association for Cancer Research published the results of a study that concluded that “Green Tea Polyphenols Thwart Prostate Cancer Development at Multiple Levels.
  • In 2003, an Australian study found that regularly drinking green tea can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by two-thirds.
  • And then again in 2005 at the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, the results of a clinical study were announced that showed 90 percent efficacy of green tea in men with pre-malignant prostate lesions.

Know that cancer is not something we catch. It is a developed disease that can be prevented by healthy eating, exercise and the use of a powerful food-based anti-oxidant.

We need to stop trying to simply cure cancer. We need to prevent cancer! Prevention is not an FDA philosophy, but it’s a lot easier to do and a whole lot cheaper.

The U.S. government has spent over 100 Billion Dollars trying to find a cure for cancer and all we have gotten from the medical profession, research laboratories, and the drugs companies who spend our money is more cancer and more pain and more death.

Don’t you think it’s time we spent some of that money and energy on teaching people how to prevent cancer in the first place? Believe me, it’s a whole lot easier and far more effective.

So, drink lots of rooibos tea, or, even more effective, take one of our powerful green rooibos plant anti-oxidant capsules every day. The anti-oxidant value is so powerful that one capsule is equivalent to drinking 46 cups of tea.