First of all, you can stop dreaming right now. Green tea and fertility are not the key to success. Key here, though, is your green tea consumption.
- Small green tea consumption seems to have a positive effect on fertility; the chances of getting pregnant increase.
- Large green tea consumption seems to have a negative effect on fertility; the chances of getting pregnant decrease!
Let’s start with the negative effects of green tea on fertility….so we get that over and done with….
Negative effects – green tea and fertility
Only when consumed in large amounts, caffeine and tannic acids may have harmful effects on your fertility and when pregnant, excessive consumption could lead to miscarriages, low birth weight or still birth.
Read more about caffeine and the possible harmful effects on fertility or a pregnancy on caffeine content green tea.
A study performed by researchers from the University of Bologna, Italy found that excessive EGCG concentrations could negatively influence the safe conception (fertilization) and growth of a child (maturation) as EGCG depletes folid acid. This study was performed in a closed environment (in a lab) and tested on pigs only though.
Read more about green tea and pregnancy.
Positive effects – green tea and fertility
A 1994 study showed that, relatively to women drinking no tea at all, women who drank up to 5 cups of tea per day had an increase in fertility.
This was due to the limited caffeine content of tea. However, when taken in large quantities, and a much higher caffeine intake, there was a decrease in fertility.
This result was confirmed by a 1998 study stating that women who drank more than one-half cup of tea per day had a significant increase in fertility. Chances of getting pregnant would double per conception cycle!
Both studies only involved a small number of women and other caffeinated beverages (coffee) did not show such results.
Researchers suggest there might be other explanations for this result.
One explanation could be that tea consumption may be associated with a healthier lifestyle; smoking less, eating less fat, drinking less alcohol, exercising more as compared to coffee drinkers. Living the healthy lifestyle could increase fertility.
Another possible explanation could be that not caffeine but polyphenols and hypoxanthine, two green tea ingredients are responsible for the positive relation between drinking tea and increasing fertility.
Polyphenols, powerful antioxidants, and hypoxanthine seem to have the ability to increase the number of viable embryos as well as contributing to the maturation and fertilization of oocytes (female germ cells).
Result? More chance of getting pregnant!
In short, keep in mind that the caffeine content in green tea is significantly less than in black tea or coffee and that it’s safe to drink green tea in moderate amounts.
I would recommend to limit the caffeine consumption to no more than 300 mg a day, translated as three cups of brewed coffee, or six cups of tea a day.
Just to be on the safe side…and still enjoy the green tea health benefits.
Increasing your fertility is most likely one of them.
Sources “green tea and fertility”
Bech, B.H., Nohr E.A., Vaeth M., Brink Henriksen T., Olsen J. 2005. Coffee and Fetal Death: A Cohort Study with Prospective Data. American Journal of Epidemiology: 162:983–990.
Caan B, Quesenberry CP, and Coates AO. Differences in fertility associated with caffeinated beverage consumption. Am J Public Health, 1998; 88: 270 – 274.
Florack EIM, Zielhuis GA and Rolland R. Cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and caffeine intake and fecundability. Preventive Medicine, 1994:23(2): 175-180.
Spinaci M, Volpe S, De Ambrogi M, Tamanini C, Galeati G (2008). Effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) on in vitro maturation and fertilization of porcine oocytes. heriogenology. 2008 Apr 15;69(7):877-85.