Drink A Lot Of Iced Tea Watch Out For Kidney Stones
Going overboard on iced tea, a favorite summer drink, could have a painful consequence. Here’s why it might increase your kidney stone risk.
FRIDAY, August 3, 2012 Refreshing, inexpensive, and low in calories, a cold glass of iced tea makes an ideal summertime sip. But before you guzzle glass after sweating glass of the brewed stuff, beware of one not-so-sweet risk: kidney stones.
Kidney stones are solid masses of salts and minerals in the urine that form in the kidneys and can pass through the urinary tract, causing great pain. While the most common cause of kidney stones is simply not drinking enough water, tea contains oxalates, chemicals that also play a role in kidney stone formation. During the summer, when you’re more likely to refill your iced tea glass than your water bottle and more likely to get dehydrated from sweating, those risk factors merge to make double trouble for people susceptible to kidney stones.
Not Sweet Too Much Iced Tea Linked To Man’s Kidney Problems
Doctors traced an Arkansas man’s kidney failure to an unusual cause his habit of drinking a gallon of iced tea each day.
They ruled out several potential causes before stumbling on a reason for the 56-year-old man’s kidney problems. He said he drank about 16 8-ounce cups of iced tea every day. Black tea has a chemical known to cause kidney stones or even kidney failure in excessive amounts.
“It was the only reasonable explanation,” said Dr. Umbar Ghaffar of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. She and two other doctors describe the case in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine.
The unidentified man went to the hospital last May with nausea, weakness, fatigue and body aches. Doctors determined his kidneys were badly clogged and inflamed by the food chemical called oxalate. The man is on dialysis, perhaps for the rest of his life, Ghaffar said.
Besides black tea, oxalate is found in spinach, rhubarb, nuts, wheat bran and chocolate. In rare cases, too much oxalate can lead to kidney trouble, but often there’s also a contributing intestinal problem. That didn’t seem to be the case for the Arkansas man, and he had no family or personal history of kidney disease.
At 16 cups of iced black tea each day, he was taking in three to 10 times more oxalate than the average American, Ghaffar and her colleagues reported.
“I wouldn’t tell people to stop drinking tea,” said Luciano, who was not involved in the research. What the man drank “is a lot of tea.”
Black Tea And Caffeine
Your kidneys are responsible for filtering your blood and producing urine, and they play a role in helping to regulate your blood pressure. Caffeine can interfere with these processes, however, and black tea contains this stimulant. The amount of caffeine in a serving of black tea varies depending on how long the tea was steeped and how much tea was used, but can range between 14 and 47 milligrams, with the average being about 42 milligrams, according to Caffeine Informer. Caffeine can also act as a diuretic, which increases water loss, according to Victor R. Preedy, author of “Tea in Health and Disease Prevention.” Caffeine can increase blood pressure, as well, Preedy notes.
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If You Drink Iced Tea Every Day It May Upset Your Stomach
Although some herbal teas, such as peppermint, ginger, and fennel, can help soothe a troubled tummy, iced tea made from black tea may have the opposite effect.
The culprit? Tannins bitter and astringent substances found in a variety of plants, as noted by Wine Enthusiast. While the tannins in wine tend to get the most attention, black tea is high in tannins, according to Healthline. However, the exact amount will vary significantly based on quality of the leaves, preparation, and steeping time). While tannins may have numerous health benefits, they can also cause nausea on an empty stomach. According to health educator Shana Robinson, “The tannins in tea are responsible for the bitter taste, which along with the icy temperature, irritates and inflames the digestive tract and can cause nausea.”
If you feel nauseous when you drink iced tea every day, you don’t have to abandon it. Robinson suggests adding a splash of dairy or non-dairy milk to create a more soothing effect because proteins and carbohydrates bind to tannins and help reduce their effects.
Green Tea And Kidneys
Good news for green tea lovers! Green tea was found to help prevent the progression of kidney disease, due to the polyphenols and you probably already know it’s not nearly as high in caffeine as black tea or coffee .
Green teas also contain lower levels of oxalates than some other beverages, and higher levels of EGCG, which means green tea may help prevent kidney stone formation .
Furthermore, green tea does not contain creatinine – a waste product produced by the body that healthy kidneys filter from the blood. Unhealthy kidneys may not filter this chemical efficiently, causing creatinine levels in the blood to increase . But with green tea, theres no need to worry about that.
To learn more about green teas benefits, including the difference between Chinese and Japanese green teas, check out our spotlight post.
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Is Tea Coffee Or Caffeine Good For Your Kidneys What Teas Are Best
Kidney health is a big concern for a lot of people, and there are many rumors flying around about whether tea and coffee are safe for this part of the body. Will your morning cup of tea give you kidney stones? Can coffee cause kidney failure? Should you give up caffeine to protect your body?
Many err on the side of caution and think they should avoid all tea and coffee to be safe, but there are many teas that are perfectly fine for kidneys, and you shouldnt have to miss out!
In this post, Ill be answering the questions:
- What is the connection between caffeine and kidneys?
- Is black tea bad for your kidneys?
- Is coffee bad for your kidneys?
- Is yerba mate tea good or bad for kidneys?
- Which tea is best for kidneys?
We chose to research and write this article in particular because so many tea drinkers we meet in person and talk with online have told us they used to be coffee drinkers, and due to kidney issues their doctors told them to switch to tea. That said, kidney infections, kidney stones, and kidney disease are different conditions which come with their own recommendations so always talk with your physician before any dietary changes.Read on to get the facts!
May Boost Heart Health
Antioxidants in rooibos are linked to a healthier heart (
ACE indirectly increases blood pressure by causing your blood vessels to contract.
In a study in 17 people, drinking rooibos tea inhibited ACE activity 3060 minutes after ingestion (
However, this did not translate to any changes in blood pressure.
There is more promising evidence that the tea can improve cholesterol levels.
In a study in 40 overweight adults at high risk of heart disease, six cups of rooibos tea daily for six weeks decreased bad LDL cholesterol while boosting good HDL cholesterol (
However, the same effect was not seen in healthy people.
Healthy cholesterol levels give added protection against various heart conditions, including heart attacks and strokes.
Summary Rooibos tea may benefit heart health by positively affecting blood pressure. It may also lower bad LDL cholesterol and raise good HDL cholesterol in those at risk of heart disease.
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What About Black Tea And Kidneys
In my kidney stone definition earlier, I mentioned that stones are caused by substances that crystallize in the kidneys. One of those crystal-forming substances is oxalate.
Well, black tea has a higher oxalate content than many other beverages. Drinking it leads to more oxalates in the urine, and it can promote stone formation if you consume too much .
One particularly memorable case of this occurred in 2014, when a man developed renal failure because he was drinking a gallon of black tea daily, which led to a heavy load of oxalates . Turns out there can be too much of a good thing!
If You Drink Instant Iced Tea Every Day You Could Be Consuming The Controversial Ingredient Bha
When it comes to drinking iced tea every day, it’s probably safest to brew it yourself using tea bags. That’s because instant iced tea mixes often include BHA, among other less-than-desirable ingredients. BHA is a controversial preservative used to ensure freshness.
According to the National Toxicology Program’s Report on Carcinogens, BHA is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” This conclusion was based on animal studies with rodents and fish that linked BHA to cancer.
The Environmental Working Group includes BHA on its “Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives.” The EWG points out that, while the Food and Drug Administration lists BHA as “generally recognized as safe” , the substance has been labeled as a known carcinogen under California’s Proposition 65. According to the EWG, the European Union lists BHA as an endocrine disruptor that has been shown to negatively impact the thyroid and reproductive systems of rodents .
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Does Drinking Tea Cause Kidney Stones Tea Effects On Renal Health
Tea is a big NO for those who suffer from kidney stones. This is because tea has very high oxalate content and oxalic acid aid in the forming of kidney stones. So, does tea cause kidney stones? The answer is yes, drinking too much tea can lead to the formation of kidney stones. However, recent studies prove that green tea may be consumed by those who suffer from kidney stones as it contains a compound that prevents kidney stones from being formed.
Iced Tea Can Contribute To Painful Kidney Stones
- Loyola University Health System
- Summer is the peak season for drinking iced tea, but the popular drink can contribute to painful kidney stones. Iced tea contains high concentrations of oxalate, one of the key chemicals that lead to the formation of kidney stones.
This is the peak season for drinking iced tea, but a Loyola University Medical Center urologist is warning the popular drink can contribute to painful kidney stones.
Iced tea contains high concentrations of oxalate, one of the key chemicals that lead to the formation of kidney stones, a common disorder of the urinary tract that affects about 10 percent of the population in the United States.
“For people who have a tendency to form the most common type of kidney stones, iced tea is one of the worst things to drink,” said Dr. John Milner, assistant professor, Department of Urology, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
The most common cause of kidney stones is not drinking enough fluids. And during the summer, people can become dehydrated from sweating. Dehydration, combined with increased iced tea consumption, raises the risk of kidney stones, especially in people already at risk.
“People are told that in the summertime they should drink more fluids,” Milner said. “A lot of people choose to drink more iced tea, because it is low in calories and tastes better than water. However, in terms of kidney stones, they might be doing themselves a disservice.”
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If You Drink Instant Iced Tea Every Day You May Not Actually Be Getting The Antioxidants You Think
Powdered instant iced tea mixes are convenient, but they aren’t anywhere near as healthy as iced tea made from regular tea bags.
Instant iced tea is highly processed. These mixes are created using spent tea leaves, tea wastes, or fermented leaves. The liquid is concentrated under low pressure and then dried into a powder by freeze-drying or spray-drying. All that processing means that instant iced tea loses more than 90 percent of its original antioxidants, and some contain none at all.
Bottled and canned green iced teas also pale in comparison to their freshly brewed counterparts. According to a 2001 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these commercially produced beverages contained few of the catechins found in green tea. As explained by WebMD, catechins are flavonoids substances found in plants with strong antioxidant and disease-fighting properties.
It’s cheap and easy to make iced tea at home, so brew your own if you want to reap all the health benefits when you drink iced tea every day.
The Solution: Which Teas Are Best For Kidneys
Not all teas are cause for concern when it comes to kidneys. There are plenty of tea types that havent been linked to kidney disease, and in fact may help improve kidney health! The key you may have learned by now is levels of caffeine and oxalates, and also other constituents like certain antioxidants which can actually be beneficial to kidney health.
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Who’s At Risk For Kidney Stones
The prevalence of kidney stones in the United States is growing from 5.2 percent in the mid-1990s to 8.8 percent in 2010, according to data from a nationwide survey presented in May at the American Urological Association meeting but experts can’t explain why.
Similar data suggests men are more prone to kidney stones than women especially after age 40 and kidney stone prevalence among women peaks in their fifties, according to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse .
People who’ve had kidney stones once are more likely to get them again, and those whose family members have a history of kidney stones also face a higher risk.
Food and drink, like iced tea, can facilitate formation of kidney stones in susceptible individuals, but scientists don’t believe it does so in people who are not susceptible, according to the NKUDIC.
Does Green Tea Cause Kidney Stones
Before heading on to kidney stones, you need to know that the kidneys perform a really important role in filtering your blood and removing waste in the form of urine.
However, you can suffer from many kidney-related issues and one of them is kidney stones.
Kidney stones are basically deposits of salts and minerals that get formed inside the kidneys.
Most often the kidney stones are made up of calcium oxalate. The stones vary in size.
A smaller one can travel down the urinary tract and out of the body. But a larger one gets stuck thereby causing pain.
There have been concerns over the consumption of green tea and the chances of developing kidney stones. However, the truth is that green tea does not cause kidney stones.
It instead prevents their formation.
By drinking just one cup daily, you can see an 8% decrease in the risk of developing kidney stones in females and a 14% decrease in males.
Green tea prevents the formation of kidney stones by not letting calcium oxalate to clump together. The crystals are flatter and tend to break easily.
Therefore, they can easily leave the body through the urinary tract without causing any trouble. In a nutshell, green tea affects the way the crystals get formed making them easy to exit the body.
P.S. The research is still being carried out and in case you have kidney issues, it is better to consult a doctor and then think about including the tea in your diet.
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If You’re Concerned About Bone Health You May Not Want To Drink Iced Tea Every Day
Want to maintain strong, healthy bones into old age? You might need to swap your daily iced tea for a glass of milk.That’s because iced tea may actually interfere with your body’s ability to absorb bone-building calcium. Nutritionist Lisa Richards told The List, “Many iced teas are made from black tea leaves, which have been linked to poor calcium metabolism. Studies have also shown calcium loss through urine and a decrease of absorption in the body.” According to Richards, this decrease in calcium can create issues for bone health later in life, potentially leading to weakened bones and osteoporosis.
According to the American Osteoporosis Foundation, 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and another 44 million have low bone density. One in two women will break a bone at some point in their life because of osteoporosis.
But if you really don’t want to give up drinking iced tea every day, there are ways to counteract its negative effects on calcium absorption. Richards suggests, “To counteract this effect, you can opt to consume calcium at separate times as iced tea or through supplementation.”
You May Reduce Your Risk Of Kidney Stones If You Drink Iced Green Tea
If green tea happens to be your brew of choice, your kidneys may benefit from your iced tea consumption.
A 2019 clinical investigation published in the International Journal of Urology found that green tea consumption was linked to a reduced likelihood of developing kidney stones, particularly among men.
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Iced Tea: How Much Is Too Much
The guy reported drinking about a gallon of iced tea every day – which is a considerable amount but by no means unheard of. Those of you who live in the southern United States, for example, know what I’m talking about. If everyone who drinks a gallon of iced tea a day were to end up in kidney failure, there wouldn’t be enough dialysis machines in the Northern Hemisphere to handle the demand.
In fact, that’s precisely why this case ended up in the New England Journal of Medicine: it was a surprising and unusual event. Nonetheless, the doctors speculate that tea consumption could be an under-recognized factor in kidney disease. They encouraged other doctors to ask patients with unexplained kidney problems about their tea consumption.