Did you know that people who drink iced tea may be at a greater risk of developing kidney stones? A new study from Loyola University Medical Center researchers revealed that high levels of oxalate, a chemical found in the popular drink during summertime, could trigger the formation of small mineral-and-salt crystals that could be found in urine.
Since they are small, these crystals are usually harmless. However, they could develop into bigger larger stones that are big enough to block and obstruct the small tubes that connect the bladder and kidney, which facilitate urination.
“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,” Dr. John Milner stated in a press release.
Dr. Milner, a urology assistant professor from the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, added, “Like many people, I enjoy drinking iced tea in the summer, but don’t overdo it. As with so many things involving a healthy lifestyle, moderation is key.”
The researchers also added that dehydration is the most usual cause for kidney stone formation. Drinking iced tea serves to increase the risk further. For his part, Dr. Milner observed that most people choose iced tea over water because it tastes better.
“People are told that in the summertime they should drink more fluids,” Dr. 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.”