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Tea and Kidney Stones?

By Elaine Magee, RDJune 26, 2008
From the WebMD Archives

Tea is often listed on the “avoid” food/beverage list for helping to prevent kidney stones. Someone who was told to avoid tea after a recent bout with kidney stones, asked me whether this includes ALL types of teas…

The reason tea is listed on the AVOID list for oxalate-containing kidney stones is because they are considered to be “oxalate-containing” beverages. But is there a difference in oxalate content between the different types of tea?

In a journal article I found, the researches tested an assortment of teas for oxalate content. They found that soluble oxalate contents of black tea in tea bags and loose tea leaves were 4.68 and 5.11 milligrams per gram of tea. Green teas and oolong tea had lower oxalate amounts, ranging from .23 to 1.15 milligrams per gram of tea. The oxalate content of the herbal teas they tested ranged from “not detected” to 3 milligrams per gram of tea.

Anyone with kidney stones should check with their doctor or specialist first, but it appears that herbal and green teas may be a great option (in sensible amounts) for someone who has a history of oxalate kidney stones but finds comfort and enjoyment in an occasional cup of tea.

[Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2002; 11(4): 298-301, "Charrier MJ et al. "Oxalate content and calcium binding capacity of tea and herbal teas"]

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