Too much iced tea caused man's kidney problems

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Doctors have traced an Arkansas man's kidney failure to an unusual cause — his habit of drinking a gallon of iced tea each day.

They ruled out several potential causes before stumbling on a reason for the 56-year-old man's kidney problems. He said he drank about 16 8-ounce cups of iced tea every day.

Black tea contains a chemical -- oxalate -- that is known to cause kidney stones or even kidney failure in excessive amounts. It's believed his kidneys were badly clogged and inflamed by the oxalate. Besides black tea, oxalate is found in spinach, rhubarb, nuts, wheat bran and chocolate.

The man is on dialysis, perhaps for the rest of his life.

The case report is in Thursday's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.