01/20/2010 - Articles

Why green tea can help prevent kidney stones

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

Why green tea can help prevent kidney stones

Green tea is credited with a number of health benefits. The latest finding on green tea is that it might be able to prevent kidney stones.

Affecting up to five per cent of the world’s population, kidney stones are possibly one of the most painful conditions you can have. Kidney stones are formed when calcium oxalate and other salts in urine form crystals, or ‘stones’, which cause extreme pain when they pass through the ureter towards the bladder. Now scientists at Sichuan University, Chengdu, China, have come up with a scientific reason why green tea might be able to prevent kidney stones from forming in the first place.

Using specialize microscope techniques, they looked at how green tea extract and calcium oxalate interact. They found that compounds called phenols in the green tea bind to calcium oxalate and alter the shape of the calcium oxalate crystal. In this new shape, the crystals are far less likely to clump together to form a stone. Therefore, frequent consumption of green tea may help you avoid the misery of kidney stones. And green tea may have other positive impacts on your health, thanks to its high antioxidant content. 

Created on: 11/30/2009
Reviewed on: 01/20/2010

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Anonymous wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

Though green tea is high in antioxidants, which help reduce toxins and free radicals, which can cause cancer, no specific link has been found between green tea consumption and cancer reduction.