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Tanins are naturally occurring compounds found in certain foods and beverages, such as tea, coffee, chocolate, and wine. Tannins are antioxidants and are believed to maintain a he althy body, and prevent various types of diseases
Tanins function to give a dark brown or red color, and a bitter taste in food or drinks. In tea, the tannin content is said to be the highest in black tea, while green tea is often considered to have the lowest tannin concentration.
Benefits of Tannins
Tannins are included in the polyphenol group and consist of several types. This compound is thought to have antioxidant, anticancer, antiallergic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Based on the type, here are some of the benefits of tannins for body he alth:
One type of tannin found in tea is ellagitannin. Research shows that ellagitannins are thought to increase the growth and activity of beneficial gut bacteria, and play a role in reducing the growth and spread of cancer cells.
2. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
Another type of tannin found in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG belongs to a group of compounds known as catechins.
An animal study found that EGCG is thought to reduce inflammation and protect the body from cell damage and certain chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.
In addition, EGCG is also believed to help reduce weight, improve nerve cell function, and prevent brain diseases due to aging.
3. Theaflavins and thearubigin
A type of tannin called theaflavin is thought to be able to maintain the body's metabolism, prevent the growth of Porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria that causes gum disease or toothache, prevent and control infections in the digestive tract, and maintain bone mass density.
Meanwhile, a type of tannin called thearubigin is thought to have anticancer effects and is good for the he alth of the digestive tract and bones.
Although it is believed to have great properties, it should be underlined that the various benefits of tannins above still require further evidence and research.
Side Effects of Tannins
Tannin compounds do provide several he alth benefits. However, if consumed in excess, tannins can actually cause side effects. Some of the side effects that arise from consuming too much tannin are:
Reduces iron absorption
One of the side effects of tannins is that it inhibits the body from absorbing iron. This side effect may not affect people who have adequate levels of iron in their bodies. However, this condition can be a problem for people with iron deficiency.
The high levels of tannins in tea can cause nausea if taken on an empty stomach. This condition especially affects people with digestive system disorders.
Even so, people with iron deficiency and digestive system disorders can still consume foods or drinks that contain tannins. However, it is recommended to limit the number.
You can consult with your doctor about the benefits and side effects of tannins further, according to your he alth condition.