Green tea is touted as having many health benefits. Research suggests it may prevent cell damage, fight inflammation and inhibit brain changes linked to dementia.
However, Penn State researchers say don’t combine it with red meat and dark leafy, grains, both rich in iron. Their experiments in a laboratory mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease suggest that consuming green tea along with dietary iron may lessen green tea’s benefits. Nutritional scientists say the nutrients bind and cancel each other out.
Researchers say this is especially important for people with inflammatory bowel disease who may drink grink tea to prevent inflammation and take iron supplements for anemia, related to their disease.
“The benefit of green tea depends on the bioavailability of its active components,” said Beng San Yeoh, graduate student in immunology and infectious diseases and first author of the study. “It is not only a matter of what we eat, but also when we eat and what else we eat with it.”
The researchers published their findings in the American Journal of Pathology.