What Are Tea Tannins? Advantages and Downsides

It’s no marvel tea is among the hottest drinks on the earth.

Tea will not be solely scrumptious, soothing, and refreshing but in addition revered for its many potential well being advantages (1).

Tannins are a gaggle of compounds present in tea. They’re recognized for his or her distinct taste and fascinating chemical properties and may additionally present well being advantages (2).

This text explores every little thing it is advisable learn about tea tannins, together with their well being advantages and doable negative effects.

Tannins are a sort of chemical compound that belongs to a bigger group of compounds referred to as polyphenols (2).

Their molecules are usually a lot bigger than these present in different sorts of polyphenols, they usually possess a singular potential to simply mix with different molecules, comparable to proteins and minerals (2).

Tannins are naturally present in a wide range of edible and inedible vegetation, together with tree bark, leaves, spices, nuts, seeds, fruits, and legumes. Crops produce them as a pure protection in opposition to pests. Tannins additionally contribute shade and taste to plant meals (3, 4).

A few of the richest and commonest dietary sources of tannins embrace tea, espresso, wine, and chocolate.

The astringent and bitter flavors which can be attribute of those meals and drinks are often attributable to their considerable provide of tannins (2, 5).


Tannins are a sort of plant compound naturally present in meals and drinks, together with tea, espresso, chocolate, and wine. They’re well-known for his or her astringent, bitter flavors and skill to simply bind with proteins and minerals.

Though tea is mostly thought of a wealthy supply of tannins, a number of variables can have an effect on the quantity that results in your teacup.

The 4 fundamental sorts of tea are white, black, inexperienced, and oolong, all of that are created from the leaves of a plant referred to as Camellia sinensis (6).

Every kind of tea accommodates tannins, however the focus is strongly affected by the way in which it’s produced and the way lengthy it’s steeped while you put together it.

Some sources say black tea has the best tannin focus, whereas inexperienced tea is usually credited with having the bottom.

White and oolong teas often fall someplace in between, however the quantity in every kind can range significantly relying on how they’re produced (7).

Typically, lower-quality teas are inclined to have greater tannin ranges, and the longer you steep your tea, the upper the focus of tannins in your cup.


All sorts of tea comprise tannins, however the actual quantity can range significantly relying on how the tea is produced and for a way lengthy it’s steeped.

There are various several types of tannins present in tea, and the way they have an effect on the human physique continues to be not properly understood.

Nonetheless, early analysis means that sure tea tannins possess traits just like these of different polyphenols, serving to stop illness by offering antioxidant and antimicrobial advantages (3).

Epigallocatechin gallate

One of many fundamental tannins present in inexperienced tea is called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

EGCG belongs to a gaggle of compounds referred to as catechins. It’s considered one of many causes behind the numerous well being advantages related to inexperienced tea.

Animal and test-tube research recommend that EGCG might play a task in lowering irritation and defending in opposition to mobile injury and sure continual sicknesses, comparable to coronary heart illness and most cancers (8, 9).

In the end, extra analysis is required to raised perceive how EGCG could also be used to assist human well being.

Theaflavins and thearubigins

Tea additionally presents a plentiful provide of two teams of tannins referred to as theaflavins and thearubigins. Black teas comprise notably excessive ranges of those tannins, they usually’re additionally credited with giving black teas their distinctive darkish shade.

At this stage, little or no is thought about theaflavins and thearubigins. Nonetheless, early analysis signifies that they operate as potent antioxidants and will supply safety in opposition to mobile injury attributable to free radicals (10).

Many of the proof on theaflavins and thearubigins is restricted to test-tube and animal research. Extra analysis in people is required.


Tea additionally accommodates excessive ranges of a tannin referred to as ellagitannin (11).

Early-stage analysis suggests ellagitannin might promote the expansion and exercise of useful intestine micro organism, however extra research on this space are wanted (11).

Ellagitannin can also be within the highlight for its potential impact on most cancers remedy and prevention.

Like different sorts of dietary polyphenols, ellagitannin reveals sturdy antioxidant and anti inflammatory results. Take a look at-tube research have revealed that it might additionally play a task in lowering the expansion and unfold of cancerous cells (12).

Present analysis is promising. Nonetheless, extra is required to totally perceive whether or not ellagitannin has cancer-fighting results and the place it’d belong in a plan for most cancers remedy or prevention.


Sure tannins current in tea might assist stop illness and supply antioxidant and anti inflammatory advantages. Nonetheless, extra analysis is required to raised perceive their position in supporting human well being.

Though tea tannins present a number of well being advantages, overconsumption might result in damaging negative effects.

Tannins are distinctive of their potential to simply bind with different compounds. This function offers tea a pleasantly bitter, dry taste, however it could actually additionally impair sure digestive processes.

Decreased iron absorption

One of many greatest issues with tannins is their potential potential to hinder iron absorption.

Within the digestive tract, tannins can simply bind with iron current in plant-based meals, rendering it unavailable for absorption (13).

Analysis signifies that this impact will not be prone to trigger vital hurt in folks with wholesome iron ranges, nevertheless it may very well be problematic for these with iron deficiency (13).

If in case you have low iron however wish to drink tea, you’ll be able to restrict your threat by avoiding consumption of tea with iron-rich meals.

As a substitute, contemplate having your tea between meals.

Could trigger nausea

The excessive ranges of tannins in tea might result in nausea if you happen to drink tea on an empty abdomen. This will likely notably have an effect on folks with extra delicate digestive methods (6, 14).

You possibly can keep away from this impact by having your morning cup of tea with some meals or including a splash of milk. Proteins and carbohydrates from meals can bind with a few of the tannins, minimizing their potential to annoy your digestive tract (14).

Additionally, contemplate limiting what number of cups of tea you drink in a single sitting.


Tannins might trigger nausea and hinder your potential to soak up iron from plant-based meals.

Tannins are chemical compounds present in a wide range of plant-based meals and drinks, together with tea.

They’re liable for giving tea its dry, considerably bitter taste and offering shade in sure sorts of tea.

Early analysis means that tea tannins might present well being advantages because of their antioxidant and anti inflammatory results. Nonetheless, extra analysis is required.

Tea tannins might trigger nausea, particularly if consumed on an empty abdomen. They could additionally hinder your physique’s potential to soak up iron from sure meals.

To get essentially the most profit from tannin-rich tea, eat it individually from meals containing iron, and be sure to drink it carefully.

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