The dark side of green tea

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The dark side of green tea

Post by NHE » Fri Oct 30, 2015 6:35 am

The dark side of green tea...

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) inhibits the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) enzyme.

EGCG also inhibits the absorption of dietary folate.

DHFR lies at the beginning of the biochemical pathway for processing dietary folate into the form known as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (more commonly known as methylfolate). Methylfolate is used to regenerate spent B12 by transfer of a methyl group regenerating active methylcobalamin.

Chronic consumption of green tea, or EGCG supplements, may drive folate levels down into the deficiency range. This in turn can prevent the remethylation of cobalamin and lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency. A deficiency in vitamin B12 can cause neurological damage known as subacute combined degeneration. This disease is characterized by demyelination of the spinal chord. It is a particularly disabling condition.

Susceptibility to subacute combined degeneration induced by folate deficiency from EGCG consumption is increased in individuals who have single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) defects in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) enzyme. The heterozygous 677C>T SNP reduces the MTHFR function by about 40% and the homozygous 677C>T SNP decreases the function of the MTHFR enzyme by about 70%.

The prevalence of the homozygous 677C>T SNP is increased in populations of Italian and Hispanic descent.

There's probably no coincidence in the observation that the Italians are not known for drinking green tea.

In the end, green tea has many healthy benefits. HOWEVER, if you're a carrier of the MTHFR SNPs, then you may be putting your health at great risk. If you're going to drink green tea at therapeutic levels, e.g., 3-4 cups/day, or take EGCG supplements, then it might be best to have regular, e.g., biannual, testing of B12, folate and homocysteine (the latter of which is a cardiotoxic amino acid that builds up when either B12, B6 or folate is low and is associated with increased risk of heart attack, stroke, hypertension and irregular heartbeat).

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Re: The dark side of green tea

Post by ElliotB » Fri Oct 30, 2015 6:51 am

A tea to consider that has many health benefits is Tulsi Tea:

made from an ancient sacred indian herb:

- it may help support respiratory health
- it may increase stamina and endurance
- it may give antioxidant protection
- it may provide a calming effect and relief from occasional stress
- it may help support the immune system
- it may balance the digestive system
- it may help maintain blood sugar levels (already in the normal range)

You can find lots of info on Tulsi tea here:

I have never been a coffee or tea drinker, but began drinking Tulsi Tea twice a day about a month ago on the recommendation of my mother. Do I notice any differences? Not sure but I don't plan on giving it up.

If you are interested in trying it, Amazon sells it in tea bags. If you are into brewing your tea the old fashioned way, Amazon has some great deals on bulk Tulsi (several varieties are available from a company called Davidson including Tulsi Chamomile Flower and Ginger Lemon).

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Re: The dark side of green tea

Post by Cece » Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:35 am

Those are good recommendations for what to be tested for if consuming large amounts of green tea or supplements. I had no idea about this.

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