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Here's How Tomatoes Can Affect Your Kidneys

It is widely believed that tomato seeds can lead to kidney stones. But how true is this?

Heres How Tomatoes Can Affect Your Kidneys

Objectively, tomatoes are not harmful to the kidneys


  1. It is widely believed that tomato seeds can lead to kidney stones
  2. The oxalate stones are formed due to tomatoes
  3. Tomatoes at large are beneficial

Tomato is a vitamin C-rich fruit which has been badgered as a food item which leads to the formation of kidney stones. The slightly sweet and tangy flavor of tomatoes is loved by all and is an important part of many cuisines, especially Indian food. Not to forget the antioxidants, vitamins and essential nutrients found in this flavorful fruit. Tomatoes, you are amazing!

However, it is widely believed that tomato seeds can lead to kidney stones. But how true is this?  

Urologist Dr. Rajeev Sood says, "Tomatoes have certain vitamins and antioxidants. The main antioxidant is known as lycopene. It is essential for reducing oxidative stress. This oxidative stress can be due to various conditions. They include diabetes, obesity, hypertension, pollution, infection, and inflammation in the kidney. No matter what the condition is, if the kidney is affected, it is due to oxidative stress."

Also read: Foods To Eat And Avoid In Case Of Kidney Stones

"These conditions can affect many other organs but the kidney is affected the most because lycopene is concentrated in the urological and genital tissues," he added.

Dr. Sood says that tomatoes are healthy and not so harmful. But the case is not the same with all patients. He said, "Objectively, tomatoes are not harmful to the kidneys. Its nutritional value makes it a good food for your overall health. However, in some cases, tomatoes can be harmful as well."

kidney stonesPhoto Credit: iStock

"The oxalate stones are formed due to tomatoes. Tomatoes are one of the many reasons. They supply oxalates which is why the stones form. But that is not so relevant for everyone. If the tomatoes are cooked properly, they are safe enough to be eaten. However, if they are eaten raw, there is a risk of kidney stones. And it's worse if a person is prone to kidney stones, he or she should refrain from the consumption of too many tomatoes as it can increase the risk of oxalate stones in them," Dr. Sood explained.

Also read: 5 Habits That Can Prevent Kidney Stones

"Calcium oxalate monohydrate is responsible for the formation of kidney stones. However, stone forming does not take place in every individual. But patients who have been diagnosed with the oxalate stone must be mindful of how much tomatoes they consume. A regulated intake will not be harmful, but excess can be," says Dr. Sood.

"In women, excess consumption of tomatoes can reduce cancer risk by 40%. In men, excess consumption can lower the same risk by 20%. So conclusively we can say that tomatoes at large are beneficial. But if the patient is an oxalate stone former, tomatoes can pose some risk," he concluded.

(Dr. Rajeev Sood is the Dean and Head of the Department of Urology)

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information. 


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