Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Consumption of black, green and herbal tea and iron status in French adults

Abstract

Objective:

A number of potential health effects have lately been accorded to tea consumption. It is, however, not clear whether an increase in tea consumption increases the risk of iron depletion in a normal apparently healthy adult population. We have therefore evaluated this.

Design:

Cross-sectional study.

Subjects:

A total of 954 men (aged 52–68 years) and 1639 women (aged 42–68 years), who were participants of SU.VI.MAX Study, completed a detailed questionnaire on tea consumption. To determine the iron status of the participants, a venous blood sample was drawn and serum-ferritin was measured. Iron depletion was defined as a serum ferritin concentration <16 μg/l. Three 1-day food records were used to estimate the intake of other dietary enhancing or inhibiting factors of iron absorption, which were included in the logistic regression models.

Results:

The mean serum-ferritin concentration was not related to black, green and herbal tea consumption in men, pre- or postmenopausal women. Also the risk of iron depletion was in the multivariate model not related to any kind of tea drinking or to the strength of tea, the infusion time or the time of tea drinking.

Conclusions:

The data suggest that normal apparently healthy adults are not at risk of iron depletion owing to any kind of tea drinking.

Sponsorship:

The SU.VI.M.AX project received financial support from public and private sectors. Special support was received from Unilever Bestfoods France (UBF) and to the ‘Centre d’Information Scientifique Thé & Santé de Lipton’, UBF.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

References

  • Astill C, Birch MR, Dacombe C, Humphrey PG, Martin PT (2001). Factors affecting the caffeine and polyphenol contents of black and green tea infusions. J Agric Food Chem 49, 5340–5347.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Beaton G 1974. Epidemiology of iron deficiency. in: Jacobs A and Worwood M (eds). Iron in biochemistry and medicine. Academic Press: London, pp 447–528.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brune M, Rossander L, Hallberg L (1989). Iron absorption and phenolic compounds: importance of different phenolic structures. Eur J Clin Nutr 43, 547–557.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Disler PB, Lynch SR, Charlton RW, Torrance JD, Bothwell TH, Walker RB et al. (1975). The effect of tea on iron absorption. Gut 16, 193–200.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Doyle W, Crawley H, Robert H, Bates CJ (1999). Iron deficiency in older people: interations between food and nutrient intakes with biochemical measures of iron; further analysis of the National Diet and Nutrition Survey of people aged 65 years and over. Eur J Clin Nutr 53, 552–559.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Galan P, Hercberg S, Soustre Y, Dop MC, Dupin H (1985). Factors affecting iron stores in French female students. Hum Nutr Clin Nutr 39, 279–287.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Hakim IA, Hartz V, Harris RB, Balentine D, Weisgerber UM, Graver E et al. (2001). Reproducibility and relative validity of a questionnaire to assess intake of black tea polyphenols in epidemiological studies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 10, 667–678.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Hallberg L, Hulthén L (2000). Prediction of dietary iron absorption: an algorithm for calculating absorption and bioavailability of dietary iron. Am J Clin Nutr 71, 1147–1160.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hallberg L, Bengtsson C, Lapidus L, Lindstedt G, Lundberg PA, Hulten L (1993). Screening for iron deficiency: an analysis based on bone-marrow examinations and serum ferritin determinations in a population sample of women. Br J Haematol 85, 787–798.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hercberg S, Galan P, Preziosi P, Bertrais S, Mennen L, Malvy D et al. (2004). The SU.VI.MAX study: a randomised, placebo–controlled trial of the health effects of antioxidant vitamins and minerals. Arch Int Med 164, 2335–2342.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hercberg S, Preziosi P, Briancon S, Galan P, Triol I, Malvy D et al. (1998). A primary prevention trial of nutritional doses of antioxidant vitamins and minerals on cardiovascular diseases and cancers in general population: The SU.VI.MAX Study. Design, methods and participants characteristics. Control Clin Trials 19, 336–351.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hunt JR (2003). High-, but not low-bioavailability diets enable substantial control of women's iron absorption in relation to body iron stores, with minimal adaptation within several weeks. Am J Clin Nutr 78, 1168–1177.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hunt JR, Roughead ZK (2000). Adaptation of iron absorption in men consuming diets with high or low iron bioavailability. Am J Clin Nutr 71, 94–102.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hurrell RF, Reddy M, Cook JD (1999). Inhibition of non-haem iron absorption in man by polyphenolic-containing beverages. Br J Nutr 81, 289–295.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Imai K, Nakchi K (1995). Cross sectional study of effects of drinking green tea on cardiovascular and liver disease. BMJ 310, 693–696.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Lallement GN, Bezanger BL (1970). Flavonoïdes de quelques labiate medicinales (romarin, menthe, sauge). The flavonoid content of some medicinal plants from the labiatae family (rosemary, pepermint, sage). Plant Med Phytother 4, 92–107.

    Google Scholar 

  • Le Moullec N, Deheeger M, Preziosi P, Montero P, Valeix P, Rolland-Cachera MF et al. (1996). Validation du manuel-photos utilisé pour l’enquête alimentaire de l’étude SU.VI.MAX. Cah Nutr Diet 31, 158–164.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mehta S, Pritchard ME, Stegman C (1992). Contribution of coffee and tea to anaemia among NHANES II participants. Nutr Res 12, 209–222.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Mennen LI, Bertrais S, Galan P, Arnault N, Potier de Courcy G, Hercberg S (2002). The use of computerised 24 h dietary recalls in the French SU.VI.MAX Study: number of recalls required. Eur J Clin Nutr 56, 659–665.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Milman N, Byg KE, Ovesen L (2000). Iron status in Danes 1994. II: Prevalence of iron deficiency and iron overload in 1319 Danish women aged 40–70 years. Influence of blood donation, alcohol intake and iron supplementation. Ann Hematol 79, 612–621.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Milman N, Ovesen L, Byg K, Graudal N (1999). Iron status in Danes updated 1994. I: prevalence of iron deficiency and iron overload in 1332 men aged 40–70 years. Influence Of blood donation, alcohol intake, and iron supplementation. Ann Hematol 78, 393–400.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Milman N, Pedersen AN, Ovesen L, Schroll M (2004). Iron status in 358 apparently healthy 80-year-old Danish men and women: relation to food composition and dietary and supplemental iron intake. Ann Hematol 83, 423–429.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Osler M, Milman N, Heitmann BL (1998). Dietary and non-dietary factors associated with iron status in a cohort of Danish adults followed for six years. Eur J Clin Nutr 52, 459–463.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pate RR, Miller BJ, Davis JM, Slentz CA, Klingshirn LA (1993). Iron status of female runners. Int J Sport Nutr 3, 222–231.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Peters U, Poole C, Arab L (2001). Does tea affect cardiovascular disease? A meta-analysis. Am J Epidemiol 154, 495–503.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ramakrishnan U (2002). Prevalence of micronutrient malnutrition worldwide. Nutr Rev 60, S46–S52.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Razagui IB, Barlow PJ, Izmeth MG, Taylor KD (1991). Iron status in a group of long-stay mentally handicapped menstruating women: some dietary considerations. Eur J Clin Nutr 45, 331–340.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Reddy MB, Hurrell RF, Cook JD (2000). Estimation of nonheme-iron bioavailability from meal composition. Am J Clin Nutr 71, 937–943.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Roebothan BV, Chandra RK (1996). The contribution of dietary iron to iron status in a group of elderly subjects. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 66, 66–70.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Root MM, Hu J, Stephenson LS, Parker RS, Campbell TC (1999). Iron status of middle-aged women in five counties of rural China. Eur J Clin Nutr 53, 199–206.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Soustre Y, Dop MC, Galan P, Hercberg S (1986). Dietary determinants of the iron status in menstruating women. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 56, 281–286.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Temme EHM, van Hoydonck PG (2002). Tea consumption and iron status. Eur J Clin Nutr 56, 379–386.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Walters GO, Miller FM, Worwood M (1973). Serum ferritin concentration and iron stores in normal subjects. J Clin Pathol 26, 770–772.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Zijp IM, Korver O, Tijburg LBM (2000). Effect of tea and other dietary factors on iron absorption. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 40, 371–398.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to S Hercberg.

Additional information

Guarantor: S Hercberg.

Contributors: LM designed the present study, developed the tea questionnaire, participated in data analyses and has written the manuscript. TH has participated in data analyses and writing of the manuscript. SB participated in the data collection and management and in the writing of the manuscript. NA participated in the data collection and the analyses of the dietary data. PG and SH designed and coordinated the SU.VI.MAX study.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mennen, L., Hirvonen, T., Arnault, N. et al. Consumption of black, green and herbal tea and iron status in French adults. Eur J Clin Nutr 61, 1174–1179 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602634

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602634

Keywords

  • Tea
  • iron status
  • epidemiology
  • diet

This article is cited by

Search

Quick links