Have you discovered the health benefits of tea? It’s full of antioxidants, particularly the less fermented varieties, like green tea and white tea. Although animal studies support the health benefits of tea, human studies are still ongoing, although preliminary research shows drinking tea could lower the risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart attacks, and some types of cancer. One question that often arises is whether people with a history of kidney stones should drink it. Does drinking tea cause kidney stones?
Does Drinking Tea Cause Kidney Stones: Why is There Concern about Tea and Kidney Stones?
Along with all the good stuff in tea, tea contains natural compounds called oxalates. Oxalates bind with calcium in the urine to form calcium oxalate complexes that can precipitate out of the urine to form stones. Some people are at higher risk of developing calcium oxalate stones, especially those who have a personal or family history of kidney stones, and people who don’t drink enough water. Oxalates are also found in foods such as nut, spinach, chocolate, berries, Swiss chard, and beans. Doctors usually discourage people with a history of kidney stones from eating too many foods high in oxalates.
Even though tea has oxalates, the oxalates in tea aren’t very well absorbed by the body. This means you’d have to drink a lot of tea to drastically increase the risk of kidney stones – and there is a way to reduce the effects of oxalates in tea even further – by adding milk to tea. Milk reduces absorption of oxalates, but the casein in milk also binds to tea polyphenols, which reduces its health benefits.
Does Drinking Tea Cause Kidney Stones: The Bottom Line?
The oxalates in tea are mainly a concern for people who have a history of kidney stones. Normal people who drink enough fluids are unlikely to develop kidney stones from drinking tea, but a person who’s had them in the past should be cautious. Tea has health benefits, but like most things in life, it’s best to enjoy it in moderation. If you have a history of kidney stones, limit yourself to one or two glasses of tea a day and continue to drink lots of water.
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