DETROIT (WWJ) – A 47-year-old Detroit woman is recovering after an extreme addiction to tea.

Henry Ford Hospital Bone & Mineral Research Head Sudhaker Rao says the patient drank the equivalent of 100 cups of tea a day for 17 years.  He says she lost all her teeth and doctors at first thought she had cancer, but as it turned out,  she was suffering from a fluoride overdose.

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“Among the beverages that contain fluoride, tea actually contains the highest amount of fluoride, however, it is a small quantity in each bag so we don’t drink that many. So if you overflow your system … the kidney is unable to excrete this load of fluoride from this many bags of tea,” said Rao.

“I should give due credit to her – she actually tried very hard and gave up tea and within a few months she started noticing signifacant improvment to her symptoms. However, the good thing is her bones are very strong, she will probably never break them,” he added.

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Dr. Rao says the patient is doing much better — but she still has a high bone density– that leaves her bones heavy and sore.  He says she is now hooked on another beverage: Diet Coke.

How does tea come to have fluoride in it? The tea leaves absorb the fluoride through the soil.

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