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Frequently Asked Questions

 


Is it safe to drink green tea if I have a port for administration of my chemotherapy?

I have recently heard of a cancer center's staff receiving information from a pharmaceutical company representative that patients should not be drinking green tea if they have a port for administration of their chemotherapy. The explanation given was that green tea is high in vitamin K, which will increase the blood clotting and thus potentially clog the port.

Green and black tea leaves are quite high in vitamin K. However, the critical point to understand is that vitamin K is a fat soluble
vitamin, not water-soluble, and thus only small amounts of this vitamin are actually transferred from the tea leaves into the resultant tea that one drinks (1). You may actually see the data showing the difference between the vitamin K content of tea leaves and the resultant tea (1428 micrograms/100 grams of dry tea leaves (which is a lot of tea!) vs. 0.03 micrograms per 3.5 ounce serving) at the following web site: http://www.coumadin.com/consumer/INT_VitaminK1.asp - click on beverages, then scroll down to see the vitamin K content of green tea.

So my recommendations are the following:

1.) If you have a port or are receiving a blood-thinner like Coumadin for any reason, DO NOT chew on or consume the tea leaves.
2.) Feel comfortable consuming a couple of small cups of brewed green tea daily. Do not drink *gallons*.
3.) If you do normally consume a larger amount of green tea on a daily basis, be sure to tell your oncologist as your clotting
measurements (INR) can be monitored with your medication adjusted if necessary.
4.) Lastly, also read my other Q&A about herbs and clotting.

Reference:
(1) Booth SL, Madabushi HT, Davidson KW, et al. Tea and coffee brews are not dietary sources of vitamin K1 (phylloquinone). J Am Diet Assoc 1995;95:82-3

faq posted 1/04


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Nutritional Concerns during Cancer Treatment (related to side effects)

Nutritional Concerns during  Cancer Treatment Can you provide a list of all chemotherapy drugs called alkylating agents that may potentially have interactions with antioxidant supplements during chemotherapy? posted 10/02
Nutritional Concerns during  Cancer Treatment Dear Diana, I am undergoing treatments for cancer and am not eating well. What should I do? posted 7/01
Nutritional Concerns during Treatment Can I drink your soy shake recipes if my oncologist or dietitian has recommended that I follow a neutropenic diet due to my low white blood cell counts? posted 5/00, updated 7/01, updated 11/02, updated 8/03
Nutritional Concerns during Treatment Should I consume antioxidants during my cancer therapy? posted 12/01, updated 10/02
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Can herbs interact with any of the chemotherapy drugs? posted 4/01, updated 9/02
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Are there any diet changes to help relieve bloating during abdominal radiation? posted 4/03
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Do you have diet suggestions for someone who has diarrhea after
radiation therapy for rectal cancer?
posted 1/04, updated 4/04, 11/04, 1/05
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Is it safe to drink green tea if I have a port for administration of my chemotherapy? posted 1/04
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Can you tell me foods to eat to reduce the acid in my urine and pain in my bladder and ureters? posted 2/04, updated 5/05
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment How can I eat a diet as healthy as you suggest if I need to be
hospitalized for more than a day or two?
posted 3/04
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment My husband is having chemotherapy treatments and has lost his sense
of taste after one treatment. Are there any foods I can prepare that will give him some relief?
posted 9/04
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Is there a good web site describing the nutrition related side effects from chemo drugs? posted 10/04
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Should I stop drinking green tea during chemotherapy to avoid consuming too many antioxidants? posted 7/05
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment How can I use the diet recommendations on your web site and in your book to both increase my intake of cancer fighting foods for optimizing my cancer recovery and lose weight at the same time? posted 3/06
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment What tips do you have to stay on a healthy diet during the holiday season? posted 11/06

 

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Tea

Tea Does decaffeinated green tea still have the health promoting phytochemical called Epigallo-catechin-gallate (EGCG)? posted 1/01
Tea What other teas are healthful to drink in addition to green tea?
Tea Is white tea better than green tea for cancer patients? posted 2/03
Tea Can green tea capsules increase chance of bleeding and bruising for any type of surgery? posted 8/03
Tea Is it safe to drink green tea if I have a port for administration of
my chemotherapy?
posted 1/04
Tea Can drinking tea reduce the absorption of iron, contributing to low red cell counts and iron-deficiency anemia? posted 8/04
Tea Do flavored green teas have the same anti-cancer activity as plain green tea? posted 10/04
Tea Should I be avoiding all caffeine to help fight my breast cancer?
posted 11/04
 
Tea Does adding milk to tea reduce its anti-cancer benefit? posted 11/04
Tea What you think about the Jason Winters tea? posted 5/05
Tea Should I stop drinking green tea during chemotherapy to avoid consuming too many antioxidants? posted 7/05

 


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These questions and answers are intended to be of a general informative nature. Please consult with the Registered Dietitian in your cancer center or your health care provider for nutritional advice that can be individualized to your specific medical condition.

Contact Information:
Phone/Fax: 734/996-9260

P.O. Box 130221, Ann Arbor, MI  48113

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