A man from Arkansas was rushed to the emergency room because he was feeling very ill. The 56-year old was hospitalized due to complaints about body aches, fatigue, weakness, and nausea.
Doctors were puzzled with his case, but it was later discovered that he was actually suffering from kidney failure. More studies were conducted on the unexplainable case until the doctors founds out that too much consumption of iced tea may be the real culprit behind the fatal condition.
Iced Tea Compound May Be the Main Reason
The New England Journal of Medicine described the situation as iced tea nephropathy. It was here that more information was disclosed in which the source of the problem was actually oxalate, which is a compound that is found not only in iced tea, but also in other foods. However, when consumed in massive amounts, oxalate can be dangerous to the body, especially if the following conditions are met:
- Has had gastric bypass surgery
- Too much juicing
- Eating foods that are rich in vitamin C or ascorbic acid, including strawberries, spinach, and beets
Those three conditions are quite rare for one human being to meet though. Unfortunately for the US resident, he was drinking not just one or two glasses of iced tea a day, but 16 of the juice in a glass measuring nine ounces. This means that he gets at least 1,500 milligrams of oxalate every single day.
Why Is It Dangerous?
Since oxalate is present in many other foods, it may be alarming to think that you could be consuming too much of the compound without you knowing. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends though that you can consume foods that have the compound provided that you do not go over the 40 to 50 milligram limit every day.
Drinking iced tea once or twice a day will not even exceed the acceptable range for the average person. However, the patient was actually drinking 10 times the recommended amount. What happened was that the oxalate contributed to him developing kidney stones. Over time, the kidney stones kept blocking the flow of his urine, so there were actual oxalate crystals found inside his kidney. This therefore triggered an anti-inflammatory reaction, which then caused scarring and some losses of the tissues surrounding the kidney. The doctors theorized that this could be what took place with the patient.
Ultimately, the patient had to undergo dialysis and may have to endure that for the rest of his life because his kidneys are extensively damaged.