Eating tomatoes cause kidney stones: Myth or Fact?

It is widely believed that tomato seeds can lead to kidney stones. But how true is this? My Medical Mantra spoke to a few health experts to separate myth from fact

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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 flavour 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 flavourful fruit. Tomatoes, you are amazing!

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

Has anyone from your family or friends warned you about eating tomatoes? A lot of times elderly people from the family warn us from eating too many tomatoes. As people believe that eating tomato seeds can cause kidney stones.

But, this is not true. Tomatoes are a good source of antioxidants and nutrition. But, still, you might be warned by your well-wishers don’t eat tomato seeds, they are harmful to health.

How did this myth arise?

Tomatoes contain oxalates, which are responsible for the formation of kidney stones. However, what people fail to understand is this quantity of oxalates in tomatoes is not enough to cause kidney stones because 100g of tomatoes contain only around 5mg of oxalates. Also, people diagnosed with kidney stones are advised to limit and not completely shun tomatoes from their diet.

It is a myth that tomatoes cause kidney stones. Tomatoes are one of the most commonly eaten vegetables in the world and if it was responsible, then the number of people suffering from kidney stones would be alarming.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra Dr Vishwanath Billa, a Nephrologist associated with Apex Kidney care said, “It is a misconception that eating tomato seeds causes kidney stones. A few kidney stones are caused due to oxalate. And if a patient is suffering from an oxalate kidney stone, then one must avoid eating tomato seeds. Tomatoes are not bad for all types of kidney stones.”

According to doctors, tomatoes are not bad for health. But, those who are suffering from oxalate kidney stones should be careful while eating tomatoes.

“A stone is been formed by oxalate and calcium. Tomato seeds contain rich amount of oxalate. So, people suffering from oxalate kidney stones, must not eat tomato seeds. But, for this one must be aware of oxalate kidney stones,” said Dr Prashant Rajput, a Consultant Nephrologist and Renal Transplant Physician at Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital.