Beloved and unhealthy black tea

Black tea is drunk all over the world. The tea-caffeine-containing drink is characterized by a slightly bitter taste. The tea leaves of the black tea are fermented in contrast to the green tea. Black tea appears again and again in connection with health issues.

The enigmatic substance class of thearubigens, which make up 60 to 70% of all the substances dissolved in black tea and give it its aroma and its typical brownish-red color, has not yet been chemically characterized in more detail, despite intensive efforts. Now, for the first time, it has been possible to use a specially adapted, high-resolution mass spectrometry method to detect up to 30,000 different compounds in the thearubigen fraction of various black teas; around 1,500 of them could be characterized by a structural formula.

Black tea contains various substances that affect the human organism. These substances occur naturally in tea or arise during production, for example through fermentation, which darkens the tea leaves. Black tea contains, among others, the following active substances:

  • Caffeine
  • Tannins (tanning agents)
  • Flavonoids
  • Theobromine
  • Theophylline
  • Phenol carboxylic acids
  • Amino acids (L-theanine), vitamins, minerals, trace elements

Tannins (tanning agents)
Black tea contains tannins, which inhibit iron absorption. People suffering from iron deficiency are recommended to avoid drinks that contain tannins.

Oxalate (oxalic acid)
Black tea contains between 3 and 16 mg oxalate per cup. The oxalate that you ingest with your food can influence the formation of kidney stones (calcium oxalate stones).

Besides pesticides black tea contains the substance anthraquinone. Anthraquinone is used, among other things, to ward off birds after sowing. It has only been known since 2014 that it can occur as an impurity in teas. Anthraquinone, like most pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, is carcinogenic.

If tea, then organic tea. My recommendation: Kukicha and Hojicha from the green tea tree, gently fermented without tea-caffeine and slightly alkalizing. You can drink Kukicha and Hojicha 365 days a year.

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