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Excessive Iced Tea Consumption Linked To Kidney Failure

According to doctors, consuming a gallon of iced tea regularly could have caused kidney failure in a 56-year-old U.S. man, Reuters reported. Doctors call it a case of iced-tea nephropathy.

Mala Srivastava, Yibada, Apr 6, 2015

The 56-year-old man unexpectedly developed body aches, fatigue and weakness, and it appears the source of his problems was an excessive amount of oxalate, a compound present in a number of foods. Excessive amounts of oxalates can come from gastric bypass surgery, juicing too much and consuming foods loaded with ascorbic acid such as strawberries, nuts, spinach and beets.

However, in this case, the man disclosed that he was consuming 16 nine-ounce glasses of iced tea every day, resulting in a consumption of more than 1,500 milligrams of oxalate daily. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, people should not consume more than 40 mg to 50 mg of oxalate each day.

Dr. Umbar Ghaffa, who described the case in The New England Journal of Medicine, said that if people consume tea once or twice a day, it probably would not surpass the normal range for Americans. However, this patient was consuming 10 times that amount.

Excessive consumption of oxalate can lead to kidney stones, which can harm the kidney by obstructing the urine flow. Ghaffar said that in this case there were crystals of oxalate inside the patient's kidney, which causes an inflammatory reaction. He further said that if that is not fixed it will lead to scarring and loss of the kidney tissue and that's what possibly was occurring in this patient.

The unidentified man eventually required dialysis and remained on it because his kidney damage was substantial. Federal studies advise that U.S. adults should consume 10 or 11 cups of beverages each day, according to TribLive.

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