To explore the relationship between the consumption of coffee and tea with urolithiasis. We evaluated large epidemiological and small clinical studies to draw conclusions regarding their lithogenic risk.
A systematic review was performed using the Medline and Scopus databases, in concordance with the PRISMA statement. English, French, and Spanish language studies regarding the consumption of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and tea, and the relationship to urinary stone disease were reviewed. Case reports and letters, unpublished studies, posters, and comments were excluded.
As per the inclusion criteria, 13 studies were included in the final review. Most studies, including four large prospective studies and one meta-analysis, reported a reduced risk of stone formation for coffee and tea. Caffeine has a diuretic effect and increases the urinary excretion of calcium, but if these losses are compensated for, moderate caffeine intakes may have little or no deleterious effects. Green and Herbal teas infused for short time had low oxalate content compared to black tea.
There is no evidence that moderate consumption of coffee raises the risk for stone formation in healthy individuals, provided the recommended daily fluid intake is maintained. The currently available literature supports in general a protective role for tea against the stone formation, mainly for green tea. However, heterogeneity of published data and lack of standardization needs to be addressed before final and clear conclusions can be given to patients and to the public in general.