Tea Contains More Fluoride Than Previously Thought

Black tea, the world's most frequently consumed beverage, may contain higher concentrations of fluoride than previously thought.  This could pose problems for the heaviest tea drinkers.

Most published reports show 1 to 5 milligrams of fluoride per liter of black tea, but a new study shows the number could be much higher -- as high as 9 milligrams.  Long-term ingestion of fluoride can cause bone problems. Drinking 20 milligrams a day over 10 or more years poses a significant risk to bone health.

Eurekalert reports:

“Most published studies about black tea traditionally have used a method of measuring fluoride that doesn't account for the amount that combines with aluminum to form insoluble aluminum fluoride, which is not detected by the fluoride electrode ... [A] diffusion method ... which breaks the aluminum-fluoride bond so that all fluoride in the tea samples can be extracted and measured.”

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