Q & A Library

Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Is the Fluoride in Green Tea Harmful?
Is it true that green tea contains high levels of fluoride? If so, should it be a concern?
Answer (Published 1/1/2002)

Both green and black tea contain fluoride, although green tea contains twice the amount found in black. However, I wouldn't worry about the fluoride you get from either type of tea because even with green tea, the amount that people drink is unlikely to supply enough fluoride to reach toxic levels. About 50 percent of fluoride (from any source) is deposited in the bone and teeth; the other half is excreted.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor - If you are interested in supplementing your diet but don't know where to start, take Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor. It is free, and provides a personalized vitamin & supplement recommendation based on your health history. Visit today!

In general, I think concerns about fluoride are overblown. I've heard arguments against fluoride ranging from that it may cause bone cancer to the notion that putting fluoride in the water supply is a government plot to destroy our brains. High amounts of fluoride over several years can cause brittle bones, but this is extremely rare. Fluoride is toxic in very large quantities and can cause gastrointestinal symptoms and sometimes even death. But you'd have to ingest about 20,000 times more fluoride than what's in an 8-ounce glass of fluoridated water to see such an effect.

On the other hand, I believe the evidence is overwhelming that fluoride builds and maintains strong, cavity-free teeth. The addition of this mineral to most public water supplies is credited with preventing tooth decay between 40 and 60 percent in both children and adults who live in fluoridated communities. Even seniors who live in these communities have less tooth decay and tooth loss.

A trend that is working against the dental health gains made by adding fluoride to public water supplies is the increased use of bottled water. A rise in cavities among children reported in 1998 - after years of decline - may be due to consumption of bottled water, which typically contains minimal levels of fluoride. If your children drink bottled or filtered water, be sure they get supplemental fluoride (ask your dentist to prescribe the proper dosage). If you drink bottled or filtered water, be sure to use a toothpaste containing fluoride. Or, sip more tea; green or black , just hold the sugar.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being in just eight weeks! Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide
Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Food Pyramid

Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you and their corresponding answers from Dr. Weil.

Copyright © 2015 Weil Lifestyle
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here