Green tea may be the best tea for kidney disease and will not damage your kidneys. Green tea does not just offer potential benefits for your kidneys. If you drink green tea regularly, you may also reap several other overall health benefits.
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As with any food or drink, moderation is key. Though large quantities of green tea do have some potential side effects, drinking one or two cups a day is not likely to harm your health.
Green Tea Health Benefits
Green tea naturally contains several nutrients and antioxidants. Antioxidants help rid the body of free radicals that can affect different aspects of your health, including weight, brain function, cardiovascular health and risk of developing cancer. According to a study published in January 2018 in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, green tea's most abundant compound, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), may play a role in improving cardiovascular and metabolic health.
Read More: High Antioxidant Fruits & Vegetables
Some older studies indicate that drinking green tea can help with weight loss. By reducing and then maintaining a healthy weight, you lower your risk of developing type II diabetes, which can have a negative impact on your kidney health.
However, these studies are based on green tea extract, not the green tea drink. There are also older studies that suggest the results are not significant and that the results vary based on the individual. More research needs to be done to support the use of green tea for weight loss.
Green tea may also benefit people with diabetes by helping regulate blood sugar. According to research published in August 2013 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and several earlier studies, green tea has the potential to help regulate blood sugar. Better blood sugar management helps prevent kidney disease due to diabetes.
Green Tea Renal Stones
When you drink green tea regularly in small doses, it may have a positive effect on the kidneys. Early research dating back to 2007 and published in ACS Publications indicated that high doses, like those found in pills and supplements, increase a person's risk of developing liver or kidney damage. However, even this older study pointed out that if you get your green tea as a drink a few times a day, there is little to no risk of damage to either the liver or kidneys.
A more recent study published in September 2016 in Journal of Translational Internal Medicine indicated there is no link between the components found in green tea and damage to the kidneys. In fact, green tea may be one of the best teas for kidney disease. Another study published in February 2019 in Nutrients found that green tea does not contribute to the formation of kidney stones.
Read More: What Vegetables Should Help Kidney Stones?
Best Tea for Kidney Disease
In addition to green tea, there are a couple of other teas that can benefit the kidneys. Some additional best teas for kidney disease include hydrangea and sambong.
Hydrangea is a flowering shrub. According to an animal study published in December 2017 in Frontiers in Pharmacology, extracts from Hydrangea paniculate offered kidney protection to the animals. More human studies are necessary, but this study showed promise.
Sambong is a tropical shrub found in the Philippines and India. One study published in October 2017 in the Asian Journal of Urology found that Blumea balsamifera extract found in sambong reduced the size of crystals in the kidneys. The reduction in size may help prevent kidney stones.
If you have kidney disease, adding hydrangea tea and sambong tea to your beverages along with green tea may increase the benefit you receive. However, be sure to talk to your doctor about adding any herbal teas and supplements first.
- Journal of Ethnopharmacology: "Molecular Understanding of Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases"
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: "Effect of Green Tea on Glucose Control and Insulin Sensitivity: A Meta-Analysis of 17 Randomized Controlled Trials"
- ACS Publications:"Possible Controversy Over Dietary Polyphenols: Benefits vs Risks"
- Journal of Translational Internal Medicine:"The Green Tea Polyphenol(—)-Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate and Its Beneficial Roles in Chronic Kidney Disease"
- Nutrients:"Daily Green Tea Infusions in Hypercalciuric Renal Stone Patients: No Evidence for Increased Stone Risk Factors or Oxalate-Dependent Stones"
- Frontiers in Pharmacology: "Total Coumarins from Hydrangea paniculata Show Renal Protective Effects in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Acute Kidney Injury via Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Activities"
- Asian Journal of Urology: "Effect of Blumea Balsamifera Extract on the Phase and Morphology of Calcium Oxalate Crystals"