Health: High aluminum levels in Matcha tea

Health: High aluminum levels in Matcha tea

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Matcha tea often contains high amounts of aluminum

Matcha tea has developed into a new trend drink in Germany in recent years. The tea is said to have a positive effect on health. However, aluminum that is harmful to health is also repeatedly identified. Experts have now analyzed whether the drink can be dangerous for people who drink it regularly.

Popular trend drink

Matcha tea is a popular trend drink. The tea is known for its large amount of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Matcha tea is said to prevent cardiovascular diseases, among other things. Unfortunately, high amounts of aluminum are always found in the popular drink. Therefore, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has now assessed the health risk for consumers who regularly consume Matcha.

Load with aluminum

Matcha is a powdered green tea that is also used in smoothies, iced tea, cookies, cakes, cereals and numerous other foods.

As the BfR writes in a statement, aluminum is repeatedly detected in teas, including Matcha.

According to the experts, aluminum is the most common metal in the earth's crust and reaches the plant through the soil.

In addition, consumers also consume aluminum from other sources, for example through unprocessed and processed food, food packaging and cosmetics.

BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel in a message: "In view of the already existing pollution with aluminum in the population, the aim should be to minimize every avoidable, additional entry."

The absorption of high amounts of aluminum can damage the nervous system, the ability to reproduce and the bone development in the long term.

“It also disturbs the balance of trace elements such as magnesium and iron in the body. It takes up their position in enzymes, for example, and can thus cause a disruption in signal transmission, ”the consumer advice center wrote on its website.

"Furthermore, it is suspected to be involved in the development of breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease, but a causal connection has not yet been fully proven," the experts continued.

Health assessment

As the BfR explains, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has derived a lifetime tolerable weekly intake (TWI) of 1 milligram (mg) aluminum per kilogram (kg) body weight.

Because there is no data for Germany for the consumption of matcha tea or tea powder, the health assessment relates to the consumption of green tea, even if this may overestimate the consumption of matcha tea.

Overall, the proportion of consumers affected by green tea or matcha tea is very low.

According to the information, the monitoring authority of a federal state has collected individual measurement data on aluminum in Matcha tea. The contents of the three samples were 1743, 1775 and 2350 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg).

Taking into account the amounts of green tea consumed, the TWI for aluminum in adults can be exceeded in the long term by regular consumption of Matcha tea with maximum measured contents, even if the tea is regarded as the only source of aluminum intake and no other aluminum sources are taken into account.

Based on the data currently available on aluminum intake from all sources, the institute believes that the EFSA-derived TWI of 1 mg per kg body weight can be exceeded by more than double in the long term for some of the population.

From a toxicological point of view, in view of this situation, additional intake of aluminum by regular (daily) consumption of a single food such as tea is intolerable for consumers, which has such a high aluminum content that the TWI alone would result in considerable consumption if this particular food was consumed regularly Part is exhausted or even exceeded significantly.

However, given the incomplete data situation, the assessment of the health risk is associated with great uncertainty and there is a need for further research.

According to the BfR, it should finally be emphasized that due to the very small number of samples analyzed, no conclusions can be drawn about the usual aluminum content in Matcha tea and the overall health assessment of the Matcha tea food. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

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