Green tea is widely used as a ''healthy'' beverage due to its high level of antioxidant polyphenol compounds. However tea is also known to contain significant amount of oxalate. The objective was to determine, in a cross-sectional observational study among a population of 273 hypercalciuric stone-formers referred to our center for metabolic evaluation, whether daily green tea drinkers (n = 41) experienced increased stone risk factors (especially for oxalate) compared to non-drinkers. Stone risk factors and stone composition were analyzed according to green tea status and sex. In 24-h urine collection, the comparison between green tea drinkers and non-drinkers showed no difference for stone risk factors such as urine oxalate, calcium, urate, citrate, and pH. In females, the prevalence of calcium oxalate dihydrate (COD) and calcium phosphate stones, assessed by infrared analysis (IRS) was similar between green tea drinkers and non-drinkers, whereas prevalence of calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) stones was strikingly decreased in green tea drinkers (0% vs. 42%, p = 0.04), with data in accordance with a decreased oxalate supersaturation index. In males, stone composition and supersaturation indexes were similar between the two groups. Our data show no evidence for increased stone risk factors or oxalate-dependent stones in daily green tea drinkers.
Keywords: calcium oxalate monohydrate; green tea; hypercalciuria; oxalate; renal stone.