Iced Tea Is the Latest Health Threat But Don’t Panic Yet

Say What!? 16

iced teaSo, once again something you happily and regularly ingest (especially on such sweltering August days as these) could be really, really bad for you. What's the secret toxic substance today? Iced tea! Aw, come on! Really?! Is there literally nothing left for human beings to eat/drink without having to worry about some dire health consequence?

Well, that depends. (Doesn't it always?) Here's the deal with iced tea (which, by the way, has been my beverage of choice for, oh, 15 or 20 years and I'm obviously still alive): According to a new study (for the love of god, researcher-types, stop studying everything to death!), people who drink iced tea increase their risk of developing kidney stones. Yup, kidney stones. The ones that make people cry out in pain when they have to pee, you ask? Yup, those are the ones.

It's all got something to do with high levels of oxalate, a chemical that causes your body to form little mineral/salt crystals. These usually harmless crystals are found in urine, which is fine, except sometimes they grow large enough to get stuck in the tiny tubes connecting the kidney to the bladder.

Sounds like a party, right? But it gets better. (No, seriously.) Remember how I said the dire health consequences of iced tea consumption depended on something? Apparently only people who are already prone to kidney stones really have to worry about drinking too much of the stuff.

If you happen to be one of those people, you might want to monitor your intake of other high-oxalate foods, too (including spinach, chocolate, rhubarb, and nuts), as well as curbing your salt intake and making sure to always get enough calcium. If you don't happen to be one of those people, cheers! I'm sure another startling study will come along in a few days -- maybe one you DO have to worry about!

Have you ever had problems with kidney stones?


Image via Pen Waggener/Flickr

eating healthy, general health


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

jalaz77 jalaz77

No. Any caffeinated drinks or not staying hydrated will cause kidney stones. Those things are horrible from the patients I see that suffer from them.

tinyp... tinypossum

Love, love, love, love iced tea. A Starbucks black iced tea, unsweetened, no water. Heaven. 

momto... momtolittleg

Sweet tea drinker, kidney stone sufferer.  My stones started when I was on a certain medication, but I'm sure my tea habit didn't help.  =(

dixie... dixiechick2

I've been drinking sweet tea since I was a child! Never had kidney stones.

Littl... LittleFrogsMA

I practically exist on iced tea and chocolate.

rkkel... rkkeller13

That's not enough to deter me from my tea! I love my iced tea!

early... earlybird11

This is not new. My Dr has told me this for 10 years, as I only drink unsweetened tea and water

Jadem... Jademom07

Only one stone and it was caused by my vitamins...calcium carbonate is a horrid culprit of causing kidney stones...switched to calcium citrate and no stones....AND I drink @ 70 oz of tea a day on top of the rest of what I drink.

LoriA... LoriAnn87

Yeah I heard about this from my dr but it hasn't stop me from drinking ice tea and I have been drinking it for years and never had a kiney stone.

easun... easunshine

Totally not new information.

1-10 of 16 comments 12 Last