Penn State University researchers who were running studies related to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have found information that consuming foods high in iron may reduce the health benefits of green tea consumption.
The lead researcher, Matam Vijay-Kumar, explained that important antioxidants in green tea bind with the iron in the meal. This is a particular concern to these researchers because the antioxidant EGCG can help reduce the inflammation that is a characteristic of irritable bowel disease. If the EGCG’s effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory agent is diminished by the iron, it can take away a potentially useful treatment tool.
Foods high in iron would include dark leafy greens and red meat. In addition, patients with IBD often take iron supplements to combat anemia.
The study, “Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Inhibition of Myeloperoxidase and Its Counter-Regulation by Dietary Iron and Lipocalin 2 in Murine Model of Gut Inflammation” was published in the American Journal of Pathology. The study researchers were Beng San Yeoh, Rodrigo Aguilera Olvera, Vishal Singh, Xia Xiao, Mary J. Kennett, Bina Joe, Joshua D. Lambert and Matam Vijay-Kumar.