Green Tea Might Affect Your Ability To Have Kids, Says Study, But Here's Why You Shouldn't Freak Out Too Much Yet
We all know about the health benefits believed to be attached to green tea, but there might be some not-so-great side effects, too: A new study shows that green tea might hinder your ability to have kids, especially if you drink too much of it. Freaky, right? But don't worry — we actually don't need to freak out that much yet. Here's why.
In the study, which was published in the Journal of Functional Foods, researchers examined how green tea affects development and reproduction of fruit flies by exposing the embryos and larvae to different doses of antioxidants, called green tea polyphenol, found in the tea. Yes, you heard me: Fruit flies. The researchers found that larvae exposed to larger doses of antioxidants "were slower to develop, emerged smaller, and exhibited a dramatic decline in the number of emerged offspring"; furthermore, although the polyphenols protected them against dehydration, they also made them more sensitive too starvation. And here's the kicker: Scientists also found that the properties of the tea had a negative impact on the reproductive organs of both male and female fruit flies, rendering their eggs and testes less effective. Yikes.
But if you're getting stressed hearing about all this, scientists say not to worry quite yet: Fruit flies obviously aren't human. It is worth noting that humans share a pretty sizeable chunk of genes with fruit flies, but the experiment hasn't been replicated with people yet. Said registered dietician nutritionist Marci Clow to Mic, "Although fruit flies apparently share 75 percent of the same genes that cause disease in humans, I find it difficult to extrapolate data and make a case for effect on human health when the subject group was fruit flies." Furthermore, said Clow, the amount of green tea to which the flies were exposed — 10 milligrams — "is such a massive amount for a specis of that size, and for a human to consume the equivalent amount to have any such effect would be pretty unlikely." Remember how it is possible to drink too much green tea, but that you'd have to be downing a pretty incredible amount to reach that point? That's what we're looking at here.
Of course, other studies also reveal the positive effects of the drink, like the fact that green tea could prevent cancer, regulate blood sugar, promote brain function, and reduce stress. Green tea can also promote hair and skin health and can even be used to make face masks. But, as per the study, moderation is key; we don't really know much about its negative effects on human reproduction, but we know there's potential for some. Stay hydrated, but be safe!