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Tannins and muscle weakness

Discussion in 'Gastrointestinal and Urinary' started by L'engle, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. L'engle

    L'engle moderate ME

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    Anybody else get much worsened muscle fatigue after consuming tannins? This is annoying since even decafinated tea/coffee and green tea have tannins in them that leave me feeling very much weaker even than my usual weakness. Even other teas with tannin, such as Pu'erh (asian tea) have this effect. I can handle not having caffeinated tea or coffee but I can't even have a small cup of decaf orange pekoe, weakly brewed, without being drained of what little energy I might have. Jeeeeez, I just want a cup of tea! Most herbals are not satisfying and are bad for tooth enamel if I have them very often (otherwise I would drink rooibos). The only thing I can drink on a regular basis is chamomile and it isn't always satisfying. I have very few 'bad habits' lifestyle-wise, but even buddhist monks don't have to go without decaf green tea! :p
  2. Stone

    Stone Senior Member

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    I know what you mean about the tea affinity. I just love the stuff, but I didn't know the tannins could do that to a person. I've been having a heck of a time with muscle weakness, so much so that I have to use a cane and much of the time a wheelchair. I think I'll lay off the tea (somehow) for a while and see if it helps. Maybe I can find a support group for people who have to give up tea.

    If you haven't tried it, there is one herbal tea that's very different from any other herbal tea I've tried and I think it's okay for tooth enamel. If you ever see some Good Earth (original flavor is the best) on the grocery store (or natural foods) shelf, have a look and see if it might be worth a try. It's much more like black or orange tea than herb teas but I'm pretty sure there's no black or green tea in it. It's got a cinnamon flavor in it, but it's very tasty; an herb tea for grown-ups No caffeine :-/
  3. L'engle

    L'engle moderate ME

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    Thanks, Stone! I'll look for Good Earth tea. I assume it's the tannins causing the trouble, since cutting out the caffeine doesn't seem to make it any better. It is so hard to give up tea, as the instant feeling from it very good and one of the small comforts in life when you feel unwell. 15 minutes later though I am plastered to whatever surface I have come to rest upon and it is a very heavy feeling to move or keep my head up. We can start our own support group for those having to do without tea. Hopefully you will see some improvement?! I haven't had to use a cane or a wheelchair but yesterday one of my arms was barely usable from the weakness for a couple of hours so I can imagine how strenuous that must be to have the weakness so severely. Take care!!
  4. antherder

    antherder Senior Member

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    I was just reading about tannins on wiki the other day.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tannin

    I didn't realise they may also be natural pesticides, like salicylates. Acorns have really high levels of tannins that make them toxic to most animals...except squirrels...curious...

    Have you ever had a reaction to any of the foods that are high in tannins?
  5. L'engle

    L'engle moderate ME

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    I haven't had that experience with any of the foods, but all of the drinks are impossible. I can't really look at beer or wine without thinking of how ill they make me.

  6. antherder

    antherder Senior Member

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    Other than tannins, it could be phenols you are reacting to, as tea, coffee and wine have high levels. Or both. I'm pretty sure I have a problem with phenols. But if you can drink herb teas like rooibos, then it's unlikely as I think they have high levels as well. I've just-reluctantly-given up my one cup of coffee a day, so I can sympathise. I only drink water now. Despite my somewhat fertile imagination, I have yet to convince myself that my cups of water are more exciting than they really are...

    I can only tolerate organic coffee. The supermarket stuff makes me very weak and shaky. Don't know if it's a reaction to a spray they use, or a filler.
  7. Tammie

    Tammie Senior Member

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    Hawthorn is a common ingredient in teas that could also be causing your problems......in small to moderate amounts, it can be really good for cardiac issues; however, in too large amounts, it can cause the blood pressure to drop too low and that can cause weakness and all sorts of other issues (since many of us already have blood pressure problems and OI, this is definitely somethign to be aware of)

    I have also heard that it could (in rare cases) contribute to rhabdomyolysis ....I have not been able to find more info about this, though ( rhabdo would definitely result in muscle weakness and pain, and can actually be fatal....but like I said, I have not been able to verify that hawthorn berries can cause this......some cardiac drugs do cause rhabdo, though, and hawthorn berries mimic heart drugs)
  8. L'engle

    L'engle moderate ME

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    Thanks for the info, Tammie. I'm not sure if the black tea has hawthorn like ingredients. The box just says "black tea", so any kind of plant compound that's part of tea could be there. From reading about rhabdo, I could see that a severely afflicted CFS/POTS patient could be at risk for that, with the extreme muscle fatigue and poor oxygenation of muscles. Interesting that the main treatments are electrolytes, since that is what I mainly do for CFS!
  9. Tammie

    Tammie Senior Member

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    If you are just drinking black tea, then that is probably not an issue (though I am not positive about that).....I just thought I'd mention the hawthorn becasue my mom has had a lot of heart issues and tried to use it for them and actually wound up having big problems with it.......and not a lot of people are aware that there can be some negatives with using it (esp in larger quantities)

    as to electrolytes, that is interesting - they are certainly really important for a lot of things.....and I know that I struggle to maintain healthy levels of a few of them
  10. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    I know tea is not good for me but I lack the discipline to give it up. I have relinquished so many foods and other things, I feel I need to retain just this one, little comfort.
    Tea is high in phenols as already mentioned. Pu'er tea is extremely high in aspergillus niger, which is part of its production: Other teas also contain this toxic mould, which easily grows on them. Aspergills causes very bad muscle weakness as it is neurotoxic.
    I know this makes me ill, I have very raised antibodies to Aspergillus. I am so silly to drink tea.

    Link about Aspergillus and tea:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspergillus_niger

    A. niger is the main agent in the fermentation of Pu-erh tea.[11]
    A. niger is cultured for the industrial production of many substances. Various strains of A. niger are used in the industrial preparation of citric acid (E330) and gluconic acid (E574) and have been assessed as acceptable for daily intake by the World Health Organisation.
    Many useful enzymes are produced using industrial fermentation of A. niger. For example, A. niger glucoamylase is used in the production of high fructose corn syrup, and pectinases are used in cider and wine clarification
  11. Athene

    Athene Never give up

    Messages:
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    Italy
    I know tea is not good for me but I lack the discipline to give it up. I have relinquished so many foods and other things, I feel I need to retain just this one, little comfort.
    Tea is high in phenols as already mentioned. Pu'er tea is extremely high in aspergillus niger, which is part of its production: Other teas also contain this toxic mould, which easily grows on them. Aspergills causes very bad muscle weakness as it is neurotoxic.
    I know this makes me ill, I have very raised antibodies to Aspergillus. I am so silly to drink tea.

    Link about Aspergillus and tea:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspergillus_niger

    A. niger is the main agent in the fermentation of Pu-erh tea.[11]
    A. niger is cultured for the industrial production of many substances. Various strains of A. niger are used in the industrial preparation of citric acid (E330) and gluconic acid (E574) and have been assessed as acceptable for daily intake by the World Health Organisation.
    Many useful enzymes are produced using industrial fermentation of A. niger. For example, A. niger glucoamylase is used in the production of high fructose corn syrup, and pectinases are used in cider and wine clarification
  12. L'engle

    L'engle moderate ME

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    Well that explains a few things! I think with VEGA allergy testing, aspergillis was one of the allergies that came up, but I never looked into it or what it was in. This seems very likely to me.


    Thanks all for your input! Good to know about the hawthorn issues as well, especially if they can have such effects on cardiovascular health.

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