Heavy consumption of iced-tea linked to kidney failure

Image via nbcnews.com
Image via nbcnews.com

An Arkansas man’s kidney failure linked to his habit of drinking a gallon of iced tea each day. 56-year-old U.S. man suddenly developed weakness, fatigue and body aches is leading doctors to warn that massive consumption of tea may be responsible for some puzzling cases of kidney failure. The source of the problem was an excessive amount of oxalate, a compound found in many foods. Excessive amounts can also come from “juicing,” having gastric bypass surgery, and by consuming foods with a lot of ascorbic acid such as spinach, rhubarb, nuts, wheat bran and chocolate.

In this case, the man reported that he was drinking 16 nine-ounce glasses of iced tea each day, giving him more than 1,500 milligrams of oxalate per day.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advises consuming no more than 40-50 mg of oxalate per day, the authors note.

“If you drink tea once or twice a day, it probably wouldn’t exceed what is the normal range for Americans. But this patient was taking 10 times that amount,” said Dr. Umbar Ghaffa of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.

Consuming too much oxalate can lead to kidney stones, which can damage the kidney by blocking the flow of urine. “But in this case there were oxalate crystals inside the kidney, and that generates an inflammatory reaction,” Ghaffar told Reuters Health. “If that’s not resolved it will cause scarring and loss of the kidney tissue. So that’s what probably was happening in this patient.”

– via Reuters.

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