Can Iced Tea Cause Kidney Stones?
It’s a common misconception that iced tea, either homemade or store-bought, can be a cause of kidney stones. The truth is that any type of tea, whether it’s iced, hot, or decaffeinated, cannot be blamed for causing kidney stones. That being said, it’s important to understand why iced tea and other beverages containing oxalates could still potentially be linked to kidney stones.
What Are Oxalates?
Oxalates are compounds found in many foods, including iced tea, as well as chocolate and other condiments. When consumed, oxalates bind to calcium and form calcium oxalate, a type of crystal found in the kidneys. These crystals then go on to form kidney stones.
Are There Risks?
The human body doesn’t absorb oxalates from iced tea as readily as other foods. This means that iced tea is unlikely to significantly increase the risk of kidney stones. However, people with a higher risk of developing kidney stones may want to avoid consuming beverages and foods containing oxalates in excess.
Other Factors to Consider
The oxalate content in iced tea is generally low, making it unlikely to contribute to kidney stone formation or other health issues. It’s important to note, however, that some store-bought iced tea brands can have higher oxalate levels.
In addition, other factors like cooking method, the length of tea brewing, and the type of tea used could also affect oxalate levels. Those at risk should monitor their iced tea and beverage intake, as well as watch out for other foods containing oxalates:
- Beans and Legumes
- Spinach and Other Greens
- Nuts and Seeds
- Cocoa and Chocolate
- Soy Products
Seek Professional Advice
If you’re worried about developing kidney stones or worsening an existing condition, speak with your healthcare provider about ways to reduce your risk. Your doctor can also provide advice about foods and drinks containing oxalates and their potential impacts.
In conclusion, iced tea alone is unlikely to cause or worsen kidney stones, but it can be a factor when other risks are present. As with any dietary change, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional to understand the potential risk.