Drinking Green Tea When Pregnant
Twin Risks

It is safe to be drinking green tea when pregnant or when you are planning to conceive, but only in moderation.



Let me assure you, moderate consumption of green tea is safe, even for a pregnant woman. After all, green tea is the second most consumed beverage by humans.

But if you are pregnant, you want to be vigilant to give your baby the best chance, right?

If you are drinking green tea when pregnant, there are two risks to be aware of: neural tube birth defect and caffeine.

Neural Tube Defect

Studies have found that high consumption of green tea is linked to neural tube defect in babies.

While some experts attributed this to caffeine, a recent study suggests that green tea antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the real culprit.

Yes, EGCG the powerful antioxidant that is supposed to be the golden elixir …

Green tea prevents cancer by blocking an enzyme called dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR).

Green Tea Cancer Action

Doctors usually advise mothers to-be to take folic acid supplement when trying to conceive and during the first trimester of pregnancy.

This is because folic acid enables the production of DHFR, which helps ensure the baby's neural tube develops normally.

Drinking large amount of green tea reduces DHFR. While this prevents cancer, it increases the risk of neural tube birth defect.

This explains why previous studies associate high consumption of green tea with neural tube defect.

If you are drinking green tea when pregnant, you might want to drink less, or avoid it altogether, especially in the first trimester.

Caffeine

Green tea contains caffeine and tannic acid. High consumption has been linked to fertility problems.

In particular, caffeine crosses the placenta and has been associated with spontaneous abortion, intrauterine growth retardation, and low birth weight.

Two studies found that moderate amount of caffeine is safe for those drinking green tea when pregnant.

A study carried out by the Yale University School of Medicine found that moderate caffeine consumption by pregnant woman is not associated with any side effects.

Caffeine can reduce birth weight and cause miscarriage, but this is significant only for 600 milligrams of caffeine. This is equivalent to 6 cups of coffee a day.

Another study based in Denmark arrived at similar conclusion. They interviewed more than 88,000 pregnant women. Moderate consumption was found to be safe.

However, drinking more than 8 cups or more of coffee a day increases the chances of miscarriage or still birth by 60%.

Recommendation

Based on these studies, the United Kingdom Food Standard Agency recommends 300 milligrams of caffeine a day as being safe for most pregnant woman. The United Kingdom Tea Council says this is equivalent to 6 cups of tea a day.

However, their advice does not single out green tea. Given that it is associated with neural tube birth defect, you might want to drink less or avoid green tea altogether.

Some experts recommend taking green tea supplements during pregnancy as a way to avoid caffeine. Exercise caution. These tablets contain a concentrated form of extract found in many cups of tea. They can be dangerous to overdose.

Green Tea Supplement Side Effects

Finally, if you are breast feeding, caffeine can pass from breast milk to baby, causing sleeping disorder. This is another reason not to be drinking green tea when pregnant.

If you have not done so, you might want to check with your doctor for the latest medical advice.

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