Thursday, March 04, 2010

Green Tea May Not Be Good in Pregnancy

Interesting, green tea is so good for you, but it's possible that the compounds that make it anti-cancer may (in high doses) affect the way your body uses folate, which could lead to birth defects or other things. Not to mention caffeine, while the jury is out whether it hurts a pregnancy, doesn't seem to help, either.

Check it out:

Green tea is rich in antioxidants, and has a host of health benefits relating to dental health, blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and weight loss. But researchers have found, whilst examining the active constituent of green tea, the epigallocatechins, or EGCG for short, that it may affect the way the body uses folate. Folate is important for pregnant women as it prevents neural tube birth defects in babies.

The problem of green tea during pregnancy is that the EGCG molecules are structurally similar to a compound called methotrexate. Methotrexate is able to kill cancer cells by chemically bonding with an enzyme in the body called enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). Healthy people have this enzyme also - it is part of what is called the folate pathway, which is the pathway, or steps, the body takes to transform nutrients like folate into something that can be used to support its normal functions.

read more here.


Susan G said...

Are pregnant women in green tea-drinking cultures told to restrict drinking tea? Are there higher rates of folate-related defects?

GreenFertility said...

Good question!

Fertility Tips said...

Anything in large amounts is never good. Just because the media makes hype about a certain product it doesn't make it good for everyone. When deciding on a pregnancy diet it is key to knowing your body and what will increase your health and that of your babies. I came across this pregnancy video which explains more about the subject.

Michelle said...

Wow. I hadn't heard of this until stumbling onto your blog.

One thing to note, also, is that methotrexate is commonly used to 'treat' ectopic pregnancies with hCG levels under 5,000.