Ask any true Brit and they’ll tell you that the one thing you can never have too much of in life is tea. Sadly, they’d be steering you down a pretty dangerous path if you were to follow such advice, at least according to a new reports published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week
Roughly summarized, the report concerns a woman of 47 from Detroit who recently underwent treatment for ongoing and excessive pain in her arms, legs, hips and her lower back. In addition, she had also lost every single one of her teeth. It therefore didn’t take a medical genius to figure out that there was something seriously wrong with her bones, which prompted a series of X-Rays and the eventual discovery of skeletal fluorosis – a hugely painful condition.
The medical team then went on to check the levels of fluoride in her body with a blood test, which should have been somewhere around the 0.10mg per liter or less for a healthy person. According to the report in the journal, she was running at 0.43mg per liter.
Her condition was one that’s known to be relatively common amongst individuals that consume excessive quantities of water with high fluoride levels, though there are virtually no areas across the US that are prone to such water quality deficiencies. There are certainly none in the area the woman was from, but she did reveal to the medical team that she was prone to drinking quite a lot of tea.
And when she said ‘a lot’ of tea, boy did she mean it.
Black tea doesn’t contain a great deal of fluoride, but of course it’s danger to the body increases in line with how much of the stuff is consumed. Studies have found that skeletal fluorosis can be triggered by excessive tea consumption, but it is a huge rarity and said consumption has to be off the scale.
So, how much tea was the patient drinking? Well, she informed the team treating her that for the last 17 years at least, she had drunk a full pitcher of tea made with up to 150 tea bags…per pitcher and per day.
We’d have to agree that qualifies as excessive.