More Fluoride in Tea Than Once Thought

BARCELONA, Spain, July 15 (UPI) — The world’s most consumed beverage — black tea — may contain more fluoride than once thought, U.S. researchers say.

Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry researchers discovered fluoride concentrations in black tea may have been underestimated when they found four patients with advanced skeletal fluorosis — an extremely rare disease in the United States characterized by joint and bone pain and damage due to excessive fluoride — had all consumed 1 to 2 gallons of tea daily for the past 10 to 30 years.

“When we tested the patients’ tea brands using a traditional method, we found the fluoride concentrations to be very low, so we wondered if that method was detecting all of the fluoride,” Dr. Gary Whitford of the School of Dentistry said in a statement.

Using the diffusion method, Whitford and colleagues found the amount of fluoride in each sample was 1.4 to 3.3 times higher than the traditional method.

“The bottom line is to enjoy your favorite tea, but like everything else, drink it in moderation,” Whitford said.

Whitford presented the study findings at the International Association of Dental Research Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

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