Camellia sinensis plant
Credit: Karduelis at Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

While green tea is being promoted as a very health friendly drink, there are some issues revolving around that this beverage contains a harmful chemical. What exactly does experts have to say about the fluoride contents of green tea? Is it safe to consume this beverage on a regular basis? Lastly, what are your options to get low amounts of fluoride when drinking tea products? If you want to know the answers to these questions, all you need to do is read further.

Fluoride contents of green tea

The fact is all herbal infusion products contain fluoride even those labeled as "organic". This is not because some farmers use pesticides or other related chemicals. The main culprit here is the polluted environment we have today. Basically, fluoride build-up in plants is a natural process as they age. This is also true in edible plants such as vegetables. However, studies have discovered that tea plants specifically Camellia sinensis absorb more of this chemical compared to other plants.

In a study published in the Journal of American Medicine 2005 issue, they tested various instant products made of Camellia sinensis. They found out that white tea has the least amount of fluoride since it is mostly made up of the plant's vernal leaves and buds. Green tea on the other hand was revealed to have twice the chemical contents of its black counterpart. 

The effects of fluoride in the human body

Is fluoride detrimental to your health? This chemical as you know has been used in different commercialized products such as tooth pastes. The Center of Disease Control (CDC) actually advised people to take three to four milligrams (mg) of this substance on a daily basis. This is because this substance can strengthen your bones and prevent cavities in minute amounts. However, if consumed in extremely large doses over time, it can increase your bone density leading to brittle bones. Furthermore, this chemical is also linked to the abnormal functioning of the thyroid gland. Hence, consuming more than 10 mg of fluoride every day can cause harm to your body.

What about the fluoride contents of green tea? For centuries, tea is one of the most commonly consumed beverage worldwide. As of today, there is no specific study or evidence that would attest that drinking green tea on a regular basis is harmful to the human body. Hence, this topic remains to be debatable. Nonetheless, as mentioned earlier, fluoride is toxic especially in large doses. For that reason, it is best to limit your consumption of this specific beverage. In addition to that, most water systems today are chemically treated with fluoride. Hence, if you are a tea lover, it is best to opt for filtered water instead of tap. Finally, individuals who have thyroid problems or those who are taking daily medications should also refrain from drinking this beverage unless approved by your physician.

Dried tea leaves
Credit: Binh Giang at Wikimedia Commons (public domain image)


When it comes to the fluoride contents of Camellia sinensis, the amount present in every  product will vary depending on its type and brand. Basically, bottled drinks and brick tea products have the highest contents. Loose leaves on the other hand has the best quality and the least amount of this undesirable compound which typically ranges from 0.3 to 0.4 milligram (mg). Several studies have also shown that herbal infusion products that are cultivated and produced in Japan are less toxic compared to those manufactured in China. This is mainly because of the difference in their soil components. For that reason, if you are a tea lover, opting for authentic Japanese tea will ensure both safety and quality.

With that being said, consuming four cups of green tea every day is not dangerous. But, if you want to ensure that your health is not gravely affected, you should only opt for high quality products. You can also opt for a white tea for lesser fluoride content.

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