Drinking too much green tea might harm reproductive organs, decrease fertility

By @Guneet_B on
Green Tea Leaves
Green tea leaves, which are priced at 315,000 yen ($3,058) per 100g, are pictured at Royal Blue Tea Japan Co in Fujisawa, south of Tokyo December 17, 2013. Reuters/Toru Hanai

Typically, green tea is considered as a healthy alternative to the regular tea. People enjoy it for its numerous health benefits including weight loss and antioxidant properties. However, a new study suggests that drinking too much green tea might actually hamper development and reproduction.

A latest study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Irvine has shown that excessive consumption of green tea adversely affects development and reproduction in fruit flies. Although the researchers have not yet figured out whether the same applies to humans as well, they say that people must be cautious while dealing with green tea or any other natural product.

During the study, a team led by researcher Mahtab Jafari studied the effects of green tea toxicity on development and reproduction in common fruit flies, known as Drosophila melanogaster. The research team exposed the larvae to varying doses of green tea polyphenols.

The team found that larvae that were exposed to 10 milligrams of green tea polyphenols developed slowly and were born smaller. In addition, there was a steep decline in the number of offsprings that emerged.

Even though the same amount of green tea protected the larvae against dehydration, it made them susceptible to heat stress and starvation. In addition, while males remained unaffected, female fruit flies showed a showed a 17 percent decrease in total lifespan and overall decreased reproductive output.

Fruit flies also started to show morphological abnormalities in the reproductive organs, such as testicular and ovarian atrophy. A series of tests with mice and dogs showed that excessive amount of green tea drastically reduced body weight and also affected embryo development in the case of mice.

“ While green tea could have health benefits at low doses, our study and others have shown that at high doses, it may have adverse effects,” said Jafari, in a press release. “Further work is needed to make any definite recommendations, but we can suggest that green tea be consumed in moderation.”

Complete details of the study have been published in the Journal of Functional Foods.

Contact the writer at feedback@ibtimes.com.au, or let us know what you think below.