Can Too Much Iced Tea Kill You? Excessive Iced Tea Consumption Causes Man’s Kidney Failure

Doctors say a man’s kidney failure is a result of drinking too much iced tea. The unnamed 56-year-old man from Arkansas began experiencing a host of problems such as nausea, weakness, fatigue, and body aches. It was determined the issue was with his kidneys and he was hospitalized. Doctors found that his urine contained lots of the calcium oxalate crystals involved in kidney stones. The man was put on dialysis and doctors believe he may need the treatments for the rest of his life all because of drinking too much iced tea.

KFSM reports that doctors discovered the man’s kidney failure was from an excessive amount of iced tea consumption. The man claimed to drink a gallon of the beverage every single day. Prior to blaming the tea, the doctors say they filtered out several potential causes of the kidney failure. However, it was determined the only factor that made sense for the kidney issues was the man’s excessive tea consumption.

“The man said he drank about 16 8-ounce cups of iced tea each day. Black tea has a chemical known to cause kidney stones and even kidney failure in high amounts.”

What in iced tea can cause kidney failure? USA Today notes that “black tea contains a lot of a compound called oxalate, which can lead to kidney issues.” For the unfortunate Arkansas man, it seems he was receiving over 30 times the recommended daily amount of oxalate just from his tea consumption. By drinking one gallon of tea per day, the man was consuming over 1,500 mg of oxalate per day. However, the man is not alone in his excessive oxalate habits. In fact, the average American consumes 152 mg to 511 mg of the stuff each day despite experts recommending only 50 mg per day.

The kidney kicking compound can be found not only in black tea, but also in spinach, chocolate, nuts, and wheat bran, just to name a few. Doctors say that the excess leads most commonly to kidney stones; however, with consistently high consumption, such as in the case of the Arkansas man, it can lead to kidney failure.

So should you be worried about your iced tea consumption? Doctors say likely not. In fact, some studies show that a small amount of black tea each day can lower your risk of kidney stones, not increase them. Therefore, as with anything, excess of even a good thing can be bad.

Did you know that drinking too much iced tea could lead to kidney failure? Do you come close to a gallon a day consumption of any beverage?

[Image Credit: Flickr/ Kanko]