Tea and iron absorption

November 20, 2017

Thé vert du Japon, Green Tea from Japan

Does tea prevent iron absorption?

Myth or reality? Yes... and no !

Despite all the benefits of tea indicated in the scientific literature, polyphenols (flavonoids) and tea tannins have a negative effect little known to the public. They reduce the absorption of iron from vegetale food. This iron is called non-heme iron. This distinction is very important because the absorption of iron from meat is not impaired by tea.
Vegetarians or those who consume only non-heme iron, must be more careful. It is possible to reduce this negative effect by avoiding consuming the tea at the same time as the meal. It would be more desirable to consume an hour or two before or after meals.
For people who eat meat, there is no need to stop drinking tea, during or immediately after meals.

Sources: 

Passeport Sante

Health Canada



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