As much as you like lemons and swears by a detoxification first thing in the morning, you have to recognize that lemon juice has adverse effects. Although the good news is that the side effects of lemon juice manifest only when you drink too much. Lemon is an acidic fruit with a pH of 2, thanks to ascorbic acid (vitamin C ) and citric acid, which constitutes approximately 8% of the fruit’s weight. Most of the side effects of lemon are due to its high acidity, and some are due to vitamin C overdose. That said, the risk of vitamin C overdose of lemons is quite rare, since 2,000 mg of Vitamin C for an overdose , which equals 21 cups (each of 240 ml) of lemon juice. But remember that it is not the only source of vitamin C in your diet and that you may also be taking supplements.
Since lemons are quite acidic and have a strong tooth decay effect, always dilute the juice. The usual serving size for diluted lemon juice is 1 cup (240 ml), and 1 cup of diluted juice requires slightly less than 1 lemon. Try to limit your consumption to 2 lemons a day, which means you could drink 3 cups of diluted lemon juice, spread throughout the day. Beyond that, the load of citric acid can become a concern. Also note that the standard amount of lemon juice when used as a cooking ingredient is 5 ml (1 teaspoon). But keep in mind that the numbers are not absolute. We all have different health conditions and genetic composition, which determines the magnitude of the side effects.
The possible side effects of an overdose of lemon juice are described below.
1. May Deteriorate Tooth Enamel:
Have you ever noticed how sensitive your teeth feel after you have sucked a piece of lemon? That is because of the lemon acids that act on the enamel of your teeth. Tooth enamel has a pH of around 5.5, so it can be eroded by more acidic substances than it. Studies have shown that any acid below a pH of 4 can cause tooth erosion. Citric acid, malic acid (in apples and pears) and tartaric acid (in tamarind) are the worst culprits. As we have already mentioned, lemon juice has a pH of about 2, thanks to its citric and ascorbic acid content. So, when these acids act on the calcium in tooth enamel, they erode the tooth. In addition, lemon juice also has natural fruit sugars.
“The bacteria in the teeth break them down and cause more damage to the teeth”.
As we have already mentioned, lemon juice has a pH of about 2, thanks to its citric and ascorbic acid content. So, when these acids act on the calcium in tooth enamel, they erode the tooth. In addition, lemon juice also has natural fruit sugars. The bacteria in the teeth break them down and cause more damage to the teeth.
2. It Can Make Canker Sores Worse:
Canker sores (small open sores inside the mouth) are often caused by an allergic reaction. You can get them if you are allergic to acidic foods such as lemon juice. There is little evidence to support the claim that lemon juice can cause canker sores in people who are not allergic. However, common sense and most doctors would advise you to stay away from acidic foods such as fruit juices and soft drinks when you have these injuries.
3. It Can Make Heartburn, GERD and Ulcers Worse:
Drinking too much lemon juice, even if you take it regularly in food and not in medical doses, can have side effects. Acid juice can irritate the stomach lining and esophagus, causing an attack of heartburn or acid reflux. This is because it activates the stomach enzyme pepsin, responsible for breaking down proteins. When your digestive juices move back to the throat and esophagus, you experience the burning sensation associated with acid reflux. However, studies have not been able to definitively prove that the acidity of the lemon is the root problem. Even so, for those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn, avoiding too much lemon juice is one of the many essential dietary changes. Those with stomach ulcers may find that having too much lemon interferes with the healing process.
4. May Cause Nausea, Vomiting and Upset Stomach:
Lemon juice is full of vitamin C. Although vitamin C is an essential nutrient, too much of it is a health hazard. When you drink too much lemon juice, your body cannot absorb all the vitamin C it contains. To eliminate additional vitamin C and restore balance, water rushes into the intestine. Nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea are typical symptoms of the problem. But as we mentioned, it is difficult to take an overdose of vitamin C. Therefore, you may not experience this side effect unless you are already taking many vitamin C supplements.
5. May Cause Frequent Urination and Dehydration:
As lemon juice increases urine production due to its high vitamin C content, some scientists suggest that it be given to patients with hypertension or urinary diseases. Therefore, it is essential that you also increase your water consumption to avoid dehydration.
6. May Increase Iron Content:
Vitamin C increases the absorption of non-heme iron (iron plates) in your body. That is bad news if you suffer from a rare inherited condition called hemochromatosis in which your body stores excess iron. Excess iron can damage your organs. The University of Virginia Health System states that the amount of vitamin C in the diet that you normally consume is too low to cause problems, but warns against drinking orange juice with meals. A cup of orange juice has approximately 31% more vitamin C than a cup of lemon juice. Therefore, it is not necessary to eliminate lemon juice, but it might be a good idea to reduce its consumption.
7. May be a Trigger for Migraine Patients:
For some people, citrus fruits such as lemon can be a migraine trigger. In one study, 11% of 490 migraine patients said that eating citrus caused an attack. This is because citrus fruits have tyramine, a protein product, which has been seen as a migraine trigger. You don’t have to avoid lemons completely. Just lower your daily intake to half a cup.
8. May Cause Sunburn:
Although lemon juice is a popular tanning remedy that is used to whiten the skin, it can be counterproductive. If you are light skinned, lemon juice can actually increase your chances of sunburn. This condition is called photophotodermatitis. It makes the skin sensitive to light and a sunburn can form after only 2.5 minutes in the sun with lemon juice on the skin. Dark spots and blisters are often a consequence. The reaction is attributed to the organic chemical compound furocoumarin in lemons that is “excited” by UVA (ultraviolet A) radiation. Avoid lemon juice if you have a dry skin type. It can make your skin even drier and flaky.
Myth: Lemon Juice Causes Kidney Stones
Some claim that lemon has oxalic acid, which binds calcium and forms kidney stones (calcium oxalate); This also affects the absorption of calcium in the body. But studies show otherwise. Lemon juice does not allow calcium levels in the kidney and gallbladder to increase. It also prevents calcium oxalate from crystallizing and aggregating. In addition, citrates (salts of citric acid) that form once digested help the body to expel oxalates through urine. Some researchers claim that lemon juice can be used to treat patients with kidney stones. Although one study suggests that vitamin C supplements may increase the risk of kidney stones, only in men, vitamin C in the diet, as in lemon juice, has no such risk.
Myth: Lemon Juice Causes Your Blood to Become Alkaline
We find some articles that state that lemon juice when digested makes your blood alkaline. So, although it is an acidic substance, having a lot is really good for your health. Unfortunately, that is a false and potentially dangerous statement. The kidneys maintain the pH of the blood, not the food. Your diet, even if it is alkaline, cannot and should not change the pH of your blood. The change in blood pH is life threatening. The wrong idea probably arose from the fact that the urine becomes slightly more alkaline after drinking lemon juice. But that does not indicate that his blood has become alkaline as well. Lemon acids form salts such as citrates, which are then excreted in the urine. This may make the urine slightly more alkaline, but that only indicates that your body is eliminating additional alkalis.
A Word Of Caution: Lemon Peels May be Coated With Inedible Wax
Lemons you buy at a supermarket may be covered with wax. This is done to protect them from damage during transport. You can use vegetable wax such as carnauba or even waxes based on insects, animals or oil. Carnauba is not harmful, but the other waxes may not be suitable for you. Wax in the shell is a concern if you crush them to get juice or use them to infuse your water or use the shell on your plates. It is always a good idea to choose organically grown lemons.
Continue taking lemon juice, but in moderation. Its benefits outweigh its side effects. But if you want to use it to cure a medical condition, ask your doctor about the safe dose. Also, if you are taking certain medications such as aspirin or warfarin, ask your doctor about possible reactions to the medications.