If you’re trying to not consume as much sugar in your beverages, but water isn’t cutting it, it’s common that people turn to iced tea. It’s generally a healthy idea, but when taken to excess, it can lead to organ failure.
That’s right; according to USA Today, A 56-year-old man’s tea-drinking habit was responsible for his kidney failure. This shouldn’t strike fear into the heart of the average tea-drinker though. The Arkansas man was consuming about 16 glasses of the stuff per day, which amounts to a gallon daily.
According to LiveScience, black tea, the kind most commonly used when making iced tea, contains a decent amount of oxalate, which—you guessed it—has been linked to kidney issues. USA Today quotes a scientist noting that his consuming of the chemical was more than 1500mg daily, which works out to be a factor of three to 10 more times than the average American consumes. Due to this high intake, the man was taken to the hospital last year with nausea, weakness and body aches and doctors found he showed signs of developing kidney stones. Now he’s been put on dialysis, and could potentially have to be on it for the rest of his life.
The oxalate chemical can also be found in rhubarb, spinach, nuts, wheat bran and chocolate. Apparently many of us over-consume it, since the average intake is recommended to be 50mg per day. Americans are currently consumer anywhere from 152mg to 511mg per day.
Federal studies show that on average, most Americans consume 10 to 11 cups of beverages a day, from coffee, water and juice. Based on just this one man’s experience, doctor’s aren’t telling people to not drink tea, they just think this man drank way too much.