Is Green Tea The Best Tea For Kidney Health?

Is Green Tea The Best Tea For Kidney Health?

SUMMARY: Tea is a popular beverage choice the world over, with many sources touting the various health benefits of different kinds of teas. When it comes to dealing with kidney support for impaired kidneys, however, which tea is the best choice? This article delves into the information compiled on the subject over the years and provides a pretty compelling case for what the generally held consensus is. 

People dealing end stage renal disease (ESRD) or chronic kidney disease (CKD) frequently ask their dietitians if tea is allowed, especially hot tea during the chilly months. The answer is yes, but in moderation. In fact, tea is considered an exceptional beverage choice that can be beneficial if included in a kidney diet. There’s more than 26 million Americans who suffer from chronic kidney disease, many without knowing it. So in a sense, drinking tea is good for your health. It may lower the risk of cancer, it helps lower blood pressure and also encourages weight loss. Individuals with kidney disease scour the internet looking for the best tea for kidney disease and oftentimes get hooked up on other types of tea that are not really recommended by their dietitians.

Teas originate from the plant Camellia sinensis, of which the leaves will either turn into black tea with exposure to air or into green tea by steam or heat. Tea ranks very high on the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) scale, a measure of the antioxidant content of plant-based foods. Food and beverages with high ORAC assists in fighting off free radicals and cancerous cells in the body. Besides the cancer-fighting properties, drinking tea is associated with increased cognitive function, Alzheimer’s disease, slowed progression of dementia, improved circulation and helps in attaining a healthy weight. Tea also helps improve insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, osteoporosis, diarrhea, and arthritis. Kidney patients constantly look for the best tea for kidney disease and we think we might have just found the one.

Best Tea For Kidney Disease

If you’re somebody dealing with a kidney disease, Green Tea is your best bet. In 2011, a research executed by Life Extension reported that green tea extract in the green tea formula prevented kidney damage in lab animals given gentamicin, a commonly prescribed antibiotic notorious for its potential to induce profound damage to the kidneys, including end stage renal failure (ESRD). When Marotta’s group treated lab rats with gentamicin alone, they saw precisely those destructive changes in the animals’ kidneys, along with evidence in the urine of kidney malfunction and oxidative stress. But when they administered the green tea extract at the same time as a dose of gentamicin, they discovered that they were able to reverse most of those harmful results. Marotta’s execution, presented in 2011, confirms earlier work revealing that green tea extracts exert powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, both in the kidney and other tissues. And because most age-related diseases require the combination of oxidative stress and inflammation, that’s robust news for individuals interested in using green tea as an important component of a science-based longevity program.

Green tea has been used for decades as an option for a healthy drink, and its extracts are achieving recognition by serious scientists all over the world. Green tea is rich in polyphenol compounds called catechins, of which epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the best-known and has displayed the greatest range of beneficial effects. Foreign researchers found that green tea extract bonds to calcium oxalate and makes the resulting crystals a different shape, which then makes them less likely to clump together and form large kidney stones. The smaller crystals and stones are then passed down harmlessly through the urine. The best tea for kidney disease would ideally be green tea for this sole reason. Green tea also reduces your chances of a kidney failure or a kidney disease.

Too Much Of A Good Thing

Drinking tea has a lot of benefits depending on what type of tea you fashion.

But this story about a man from Arkansas unfolds a deeper quest in our minds.

In May 2014, a 56-year-old man arrived at Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, complaining of weakness, fatigue and body aches. Doctors discovered that his kidneys were failing. He was placed on dialysis. After questioning the patient, they learned that he drank 16 8-ounce glasses of iced tea daily, which is about 1 gallon.

“Iced tea is full of oxalic acid, which, when taken in excess, deposits in your kidneys and mucks up the work of removing waste from the blood,” says Scott Youngquist, MD, an emergency physician at University of Utah Health. “This patient was drinking 16 8-ounce glasses of iced tea per day for an unknown period of time. This created a load of oxalic acid that his kidneys couldn’t handle, leading to renal failure.”

Some Benefits Of Green Tea

Green tea is literally one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. It’s loaded with antioxidants that have many health benefits including lower cholesterol levels, improved brain function, weight loss, protecting against cancer, etc. Here are some health benefits of drinking green tea and how they help you.

Antioxidants may lower the risk of some cancers
Cancer is caused by uncontrolled growth of cells. Research has associated green tea compounds with a reduced risk of cancer. For breast cancer, a comprehensive review showed that women who drank the most green tea had a 20-30% lower risk. Studies and analysis also observed reduced risk in prostate cancer and colorectal cancer.

May help you lose weight
As we know that green tea can boost the metabolic rate in the short term, it makes sense that it could help you lose weight. Several studies reveal that green tea may help reduce body fat, specifically in the abdominal area.

Contains healthy bioactive compounds
Green tea contains a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Catechins are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and provide other benefits. EGCG is one of the most powerful compounds in green tea and it has been tested to help treat various diseases.

There may not be a lot of evidence on this, but from what we’ve heard from people who enjoy green tea on a regular basis, green tea helps them sleep better at night, and for some it reduces anxiety.

Green Tea & Kidney Stones

Kidney stones affect about 5% of the world’s population. That’s 35 million people walking around with stones in their kidneys. They occur when abnormally high concentrations of minerals, such as calcium, accumulate in the urinary tract and clump together to form crystals and potentially painful stones. Dr. John Milner from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine explains: “For people who have a high tendency to form the most common type of kidney stones, iced tea is one of the worst things to drink.” According to the Tea Association of the USA, 85% of tea consumed in the United States is iced. In addition, iced tea is usually just black tea, sweetened or unsweetened. If you’re someone dealing with kidney disease, stay away from gentamicin, oxalate, phosphorus and oxalic acid. Iced tea contains high concentrations of oxalate, one of the key chemicals that lead to formation of kidney stones.

Green tea however is a great alternative to black iced tea, and green tea’s EGCG may help inhibit the action of the reactive oxygen species molecule, thereby preventing oxidative damage. It also helps to make the crystals a different shape making it easier to pass it down and reduces risk of forming kidney stones.

Green Tea vs. Matcha

Matcha and green tea have different flavor profiles, cultivation and preparation methods, and even health benefits. Both types of tea contain useful antioxidants, polyphenols, and a unique amino acid called L-theanine. These days, matcha powder and green tea are commonly used during cleanses and detoxes.

In addition to that, matcha green tea may contain anywhere from three to ten times the quantity of antioxidants found in standard green tea. It is also packed with catechin or EGCG, one of the most powerful antioxidants. Green tea contains roughly half the caffeine content of black tea, and about a quarter the caffeine of coffee. Matcha green tea contains slightly more caffeine, around half the amount per cup in comparison to coffee. For more information on the best things to put in your body to support kidney health, be sure to check out our Youtube where we post daily videos.