Is Green Tea Safe During Pregnancy?
The majority of eminent clinicians will not conclusively suggest that drinking green tea during pregnancy has any negative health effects and any potential side effects of consuming too much caffeine can be removed by drinking less of it. The main ingredient, just like other teas, that should be restricted during pregnancy is caffeine and doctors recommend that pregnant women should avoid excessive intake of caffeine, especially during the early stages of pregnancy. It is considered by many that excessive intake of caffeine can cause miscarriage during pregnancy or can delay conception although no firm research has supported this belief apart from for heavy smokers who drink more than 8 cups of coffee a day. This unfermented tea normally contains half of the caffeine found in other teas but stronger brews can contain just as much as some types of tea. It is recommended that pregnant women consume less than two cups a day (or less than 200mg) during pregnancy as different brews contain different amounts of caffeine. One way of reducing the effects of caffeine during pregnancy is to drink the decaffeinated tea version but so long as you follow the suggested recommendations there is no reason why you should not enjoy a green tea during pregnancy.
Green Tea Pregnancy Controversy
The main debate about green tea and pregnancy is concerned not just with the caffeine (we should all limit the intake of caffeine) but with the cell destroying aspect of it as used as a weapon against cancerous cells. Those against green tea during early pregnancy claim that as it destroys cancerous cells it also destroys folic acid which is crucial for the growth of a healthy baby. Although there is no firm clinical evidence to support this it is advised that drinking just a moderate amount (one or two cups) during pregnancy is safe and will allow its other health benefits to be realized.
Is Decaf Green Tea Safe During Pregnancy?
One way of enjoying a this tea while pregnant is to only use a decaf blend although you should reduce your intake during the period you are trying to conceive and in early pregnancy. Although research using the purest form of the antioxidant has supported the folic destroying properties of ECGC to some degree, most clinical research into the effects of drinking the tea has studied it as an extract in its drug form (ECGC). ECGC in a laboratory is more of a folic acid inhibitor than the antioxidant extracted directly from the tea when drank. Even these tests are not conclusive in proving that it is bad for pregnancy but as you are dealing with such an important thing as human life always err on the side of caution and heed advice by keeping your consumption during pregnancy to one or two cups a day.
Folic Acid and ECGC Research
Scientists stumbled upon the effects of ECGC accidentally during trials to test its inhibitory effect on carcinogenic cells. Although they noticed that pure ECGC had some sort of effect on the body’s ability to absorb folic acid they could not find significant enough results to apply the same results in a blanket fashion to its consumption by pregnant women. Nevertheless, some health websites run by non-medical editors still covered the results in a negative light.