Green Tea and Making Babies

While green tea has been studied for its numerous health benefits, theres at least one area of interest that needs more attention.

Can drinking green tea really enhance fertility?

Now thats the one-hundred-thousand dollar question! Theres a lot of conflicting opinions and research results pertaining to that subject. Well try to be fair and present both sides of the issue.

Any tea made from the Camellia sinensis bush contains caffeine. On the bright side of the teapot, green tea has only one-sixth to one-tenth of the amount of caffeine that a similar amount of regular coffee contains.

For those of us who are trying to watch our caffeine intake, thats a good deal. If you need a caffeine fix though, green tea isnt going to give you what youre looking for. Better start looking for the nearest Starbucks.

How can drinking green tea increase fertility?

A study done by the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Oakland, California revealed that the chances of conceiving doubled for woman who daily drank more than one- half cup of green tea containing caffeine (American Journal of Public Health, 1998). Because this wasnt the case for the other tested caffeinated beverages, caffeine wasnt deemed the causing agent. Some credit was given to the possibility that the polyphenols and hypoxanthine, compounds found in tea, resulted in a greater number of viable embryos, and increased maturation and fertilizability of oocytes.

Another conclusion of this study was that the healthy lifestyle of many green tea drinkers, such as regular exercise and decreased smoking and fat intake, might also play a role in the enhanced fertility levels of the test subjects.

How can drinking green tea decrease fertility?

Tannic acids, an element found in green tea, have been shown to cause fertility problems and greater chances at miscarrying.

While not an “initial” fertility situation, rumor has it that EGCG, the main disease-fighting antioxidant known as catechins in green tea that have been found to impede the growth of tumors, might also effect the blood vessel growth of a developing embryo.

Another post-fertility issue related to an excessive intake of green tea involves the increased rate of birth defects.

Past studies have concluded that coffee consumption increases the risk of miscarriages and that caffeine intake enhances the negative effects of alcohol intake on fertility. While not directly related to green tea, caffeine is the potential cause of such problems.

Should I or shouldnt I drink green tea for fertility issues?

The best advice that we can give you is something youve heard before. Check with your doctor first. Do your homework. Then and only then can you make a truly educated and well-informed decision about a very delicate issue. Whatever you decide, we wish you the best of luck in your quest for that new addition to your family. Cheers…

Vaughn Balchunas is a writer and publisher of health and self-growth articles. For more information about tea and health go to: www.tea-guide.com


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