Children, pregnant women should avoid tea

Posted by Bahniman Kakati 31/12/2018 0 Comment(s)

On an average, 100 grams of tea contain about 11 grams of caffeine. While we consume beneficial flavanoids in our teas, we also end up consuming caffeine, which may lengthen pregnancy or may result in underweight deliveries. Likewise for young children, tea is not advisable.

Caffeine is a psychoactive substance that improves endurance among adults. However, for pregnant mothers consuming caffeine can harm the placenta, which provides oxygen and other nutrients to the foetus. According to a study by U.S. based National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), caffeine is absorbed rapidly in the bloodstream which reduces the blood flow to foetus by 25 percent. Caffeine results in lengthening of the pregnancy period, according to a study published in 2013 by U.K. based BioMed Central, a non-profit that publishes over 250 medical journals. It has been estimated that per 100 grams of caffeine reduces pregnancy by five hours. The same study states that for a baby expected to be of average birth weight (3.6kg), it equated to a loss of 21-28 grams per 100mg of caffeine consumed per day.

In case of toddlers and young children, consuming tea can lead to iron deficiency. Iron deficiency is marked by symptoms such as tiredness, shortness of breath and lethargy. Tea contains certain chemical compounds called polyphenols, which bind with iron, making it harder for our bodies to absorb it.

Having listed these effects on tea, scientists studying the beneficial flavanoids, which improve immunity, protect skin and helps reduce weight, are looking for ways to use green tea extracts beneficial for children. Under adult supervision, green tea extracts can still be applied on skin to avoid sun damage. While many health and wellness website prescribe giving smaller doses of green tea to children for its benefits, we suggest you visit your paediatrician for advice.

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IN THE MEDIA