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Recent Research 40: Fluoride in instant teas

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    PFPC Daily - January 25, 2005 NOTE: An analysis on the instant green tea Wisdom of the Ancients , conducted in 2002 at a certified lab by the PFPC, revealed a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 25, 2005
      PFPC Daily - January 25, 2005

      NOTE: An analysis on the instant green tea "Wisdom of the Ancients",
      conducted in 2002 at a certified lab by the PFPC, revealed a fluoride
      content of 15.6 mg/L.

      Potentially harmful fluoride levels found in some instant teas

      Washington University School of Medicine

      Public release date: 25-Jan-2005

      Potentially harmful fluoride levels found in some instant teas
      St. Louis, Jan. 25, 2005 -- Instant tea, one of the most popular
      drinks in the United States, may be a source of harmful levels of
      fluoride, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in
      St. Louis report. The researchers found that some regular strength
      preparations contain as much as 6.5 parts per million (ppm) of
      fluoride, well over the 4 ppm maximum allowed in drinking water by
      the Environmental Protection Agency and 2.4 ppm permitted in bottled
      water and beverages by the Food and Drug Administration.

      The discovery stemmed from the diagnostic investigation of a
      middle-aged woman suffering from spine pain attributed to hyper-dense
      bones. Testing for the cause of her symptoms revealed the patient had
      high levels of fluoride in her urine. She then disclosed a high
      consumption of iced tea--claiming to drink one to two gallons of
      double-strength instant tea throughout the day--which led the
      researchers to test for fluoride content in several brands of instant
      tea available on grocery store shelves.

      Each of the teas was tested as a regular-strength preparation in
      fluoride-free water, and each contained fluoride, with amounts
      ranging from 1.0 to 6.5 parts per million. The study is reported in
      the January issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

      "The tea plant is known to accumulate fluoride from the soil and
      water. Our study points to the need for further investigation of the
      fluoride content of teas," says Michael Whyte, M.D., professor of
      medicine, pediatrics and genetics. "We don't know how much variation
      there is from brand to brand and year to year."

      In many communities in the United States, fluoride is added to
      drinking water to help prevent tooth decay. However, the Public
      Health Service indicates that the fluoride concentration should not
      exceed 1.2 ppm.

      Physicians have been aware that ingestion of high levels of fluoride
      cause bone-forming cells to lay down extra skeletal tissue,
      increasing bone density but also bone brittleness. The resulting
      disease, called skeletal fluorosis, can manifest in bone pain,
      calcification of ligaments, bone spurs, fused vertebrae and
      difficulty in moving joints.

      "When fluoride gets into your bones, it stays there for years, and
      there is no established treatment for skeletal fluorosis," Whyte
      says. "No one knows if you can fully recover from it."

      Americans are exposed to fluoride not only through fluoridated water
      but increasingly through fluoridated toothpastes and other dental
      preparations. Pesticides, TeflonĀ®-coated cookware, chewing
      tobacco, some wines and certain sparkling mineral waters are more
      unusual sources of excess exposure. Until now, instant tea had not
      been recognized as a significant source of fluoride.

      According to Whyte, the findings could aid in the diagnosis and
      treatment of patients who have achiness in their bones. In the
      future, doctors should ask such patients about their tea consumption.

      SOURCE:
      http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-01/wuso-phf012505.php
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