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Don’t Touch It! It’s Tea-vil!

Posted by bmagnus On June - 18 - 2010

This week the European League Against Rheumatism has been meeting in Rome, and as a result we have a couple of items on Rheumatoid Arthritis to share.

The first is a study involving over 76,000 women showing that women who drink large amounts of tea have a higher risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Coffee drinkers did not have a higher risk. While drinking any tea regularly increased the risk, women who drank 4 or more cups per day had the highest risk. Remember too that they are talking about normal “teacup” sized cups, not a big travel mug or a 20 oz. tea from your favorite espresso bar.  “Moderation in all things,” even things that are generally good for you. This was an American study, so tea drinkers probably included drinkers of black tea, green tea, and even iced tea, both sweet and unsweetened.

Another important finding is a set of 3 studies showing that Vitamin D deficiency is common in people with rheumatic conditions such as Rhuematoid Arthritis. Depending on the study, researchers found that 50-85% of patients who were not supplementing had lower than normal levels of Vitamin D, and in many cases taking a “normal” supplemental dose wasn’t enough to raise serum levels to normal levels. One of the researchers said: “The results of our study show that daily 800-1,000 IU supplementation is not sufficient to normalise vitamin D levels in patients with rheumatologic or bone conditions. What is unclear is whether a higher dose would be more effective.”

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