Oxalate content and calcium binding capacity of tea and herbal teas

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2002;11(4):298-301. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-6047.2002.00294.x.


Thirty-two commercially available teas consisting of green, oolong and black teas were bought from supermarkets in Christchurch, New Zealand in June 2001. Fifteen herbal teas were also purchased at the same time. The soluble oxalate content of the infusate made from each of the teas was determined using high pressure liquid chromatography. The mean soluble oxalate contents of black tea in tea bags and loose tea leaves were 4.68 and 5.11 mg/g tea, respectively, while green teas and oolong tea had lower oxalate contents, ranging from 0.23 to 1.15 mg/g tea. The soluble oxalate content of the herbal teas ranged from not detected to 3.00 mg/g tea. A regular tea drinker consuming six cups of tea/day would have an intake of between 26.46 and 98.58 mg soluble oxalate/day from loose black tea, 17.88 and 93.66 mg soluble oxalate/day from black tea in tea bags and a maximum of 18.0 mg/day from herbal teas. The oxalate intake from the regular daily consumption of black teas is modest when compared to the amounts of soluble oxalate that can be found in common foods. However, oxalate in black teas has the potential to bind to a significant proportion of calcium in the milk, which is commonly consumed with the black teas.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Beverages / analysis*
  • Biological Availability
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Milk / chemistry
  • Oxalates / analysis*
  • Oxalates / metabolism
  • Solubility
  • Tea / chemistry*


  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Oxalates
  • Tea
  • Calcium