Green Tea Compound Reduces Inflammation, but Effect on Iron Levels Needs Further Research

Green Tea Compound Reduces Inflammation, but Effect on Iron Levels Needs Further Research – A study suggests that the green tea compound epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) may ease inflammatory iron deficiency.

Iron deficiency affects nearly one in five children under five, leading to anemia and other health concerns. Inflammation can worsen this by reducing iron availability. New research explores whether EGCG, a green tea compound known to fight inflammation, might improve iron status.

Note that excessive green tea drinking can lead to iron deficiency anemia due to its interference with iron absorption. When consumed simultaneously with iron, EGCG may lose its potential as an antioxidant, which could impact its ability to ease inflammatory iron deficiency.

Therefore, while EGCG has potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties, its interaction with iron absorption should be considered, especially for individuals at risk of iron deficiency.

Study Background

  • Iron deficiency, often linked to anemia, is a global issue.
  • Inflammation can worsen iron deficiency by storing iron in the body, making it unavailable in the bloodstream.
  • Obesity can trigger chronic inflammation, further depleting iron levels.
  • Scientists seek safe, non-drug ways to improve iron status, specifically by fighting inflammation.
  • Green tea, rich in anti-inflammatory polyphenols, might be a promising avenue.

The Study

Researchers investigated whether LPS-induced inflammation affects iron levels and if EGCG could counteract this effect.

  • 32 iron-deficient rats were divided into 4 groups:
    • Negative control: Iron-deficient diet only.
    • Positive control: Iron-replete diet only.
    • LPS treatment: Iron-deficient diet + LPS injections.
    • EGCG + LPS treatment: Iron-deficient diet + LPS injections + EGCG green tea powder.
  • Researchers monitored weight, food intake, and iron and inflammation markers after three weeks.

Key Findings

  • EGCG did not significantly affect iron levels in serum, hemoglobin, or ferritin.
  • EGCG effectively lowered the inflammatory marker SAA, elevated by LPS.
  • LPS reduced serum iron compared to the control group, but EGCG didn’t restore it.
  • EGCG did not significantly affect other inflammation markers (CRP, IL-6).

What Is the recommended daily intake of green tea?

The recommended daily intake of green tea for most people is about three to five cups per day to reap its health benefits. However, it’s important to note that drinking more than 8 cups of green tea daily may lead to potential side effects due to its caffeine content. Pregnant women should limit their intake to about 6 cups per day or less, as higher amounts may be possibly unsafe and have been linked to certain risks. While green tea has health-promoting compounds and potential benefits, it’s essential to consume it in moderation to avoid adverse effects.


  • This study provides mixed results: EGCG reduced inflammation but not iron deficiency.
  • Further research is needed with different doses and more biomarkers to understand the complex interactions between diet, inflammation, and iron status.

Additional Notes

  • The study used lower LPS doses than previous research to reduce mortality, potentially impacting results.
  • The authors discuss “iron trapping” as a possible explanation for inconclusive iron findings.
  • Measuring CRP closer to LPS administration might reveal different results. Study Source

ALSO READ: Adolescent Obesity Linked To Early Chronic Kidney Disease In Young Adulthood

Last Updated on January 3, 2024 by shalw

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