Don’t we all love that tangy and zingy flavor of lemon? Whether you just drink it as a lemon juice or add it as a seasoning in various dishes, we all love its flavor and aroma. Known not only for its culinary uses, this bright yellow fruit is like a savior for a number of beauty conditions. From acne removal to oily skin treatment to lightening of darkened elbows and knees to blackhead remover to skin brightener to lips exfoliator, the uses of lemon is never ending.(1)
But like every other product, lemon has its own share of side effects too! It is important to find out what those side effects of lemon are so that you don’t harm yourself in the process of using it.
Top 12 Side Effects Of Lemon
1. Tooth Decay
We all know that lemons are acidic in nature. It is this same acidity which acts as a benefit to deal with a lot of health and beauty conditions. But you need to remember that excess acidity can cause a lot of problems as well, tooth decay being one of them. A study “Caries Research” was published in 1961 which stated that the acidic content in lemons caused erosion of tooth enamel, cavities, stained teeth and other dental problems. One way to overcome this side effect is to always take lemon juice mixed with other food items.(2)
2. Negative Effect On Skin
We have come across a number of beauty and health blogs which show us how to use lemon on our skin in order to get rid of acne and pimples. But if you have a sensitive skin, then using lemon would do you more harm than good. Instead of fixing your problem, it would just aggravate it. People who have dry and flaky skin should also avoid using lemons as it will make your skin even more dry.(3)
3. Dark Spots
Dark spots are another skin condition for which the usage of lemon is suggested. Again, this may not have a positive result as applying it on pimples will cause a burning sensation and will cause rashes or reddening of skin. People with dark skin should definitely avoid using lemon as acne treatment because you would be left with more dark spots.(4)
Heartburn is another side effect of overusing of lemons. This usually happens when the esophagus gets affected due to the stomach acid. People suffering from a case of heartburn will usually have chronic pain with a burning sensation in their chest or throat. So if you are already having a heartburn, using lemons can cause more harm.(5)
5. Ulcers And GERD
Ulcers and GERD which stands for Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease are also side effects of consuming lemon in excess quantity. The acidic content increases the production of acid and in turn makes your stomach highly acidic. Vomiting, sore throat, regurgitation, etc., are some of the symptoms of GERD. People suffering from a stomach ulcer should be extremely careful while consuming lemon as it cause more damage.(6)
6. Kidney Problems
You would have seen a number of recipes with lemon peel as an ingredient. Though it might add the necessary zingy flavor to your dish, it has been noticed that the lemon peels have a high amount of oxalates. These oxalates hinder the absorption of calcium in our body bu turning into crystals. This lack of absorption results in the formation of stones in your gallbladder and kidneys.(7)
7. Diarrhea And Nausea
Diarrhea and nausea are some of the other side effects that you would have to face due to the over consumption of lemons. These would be a result of iron toxicity. The ascorbic acid present in lemons leads to improved iron absorption because of which you have excess iron in the body. It has been found that this iron toxicity can reduce the effect of Chloroquine also which is used for treating Malaria.(8)
[ Read: Surprising Garlic Side Effects ]
Pregnant women can consume lemon juice but it should be done in moderation. This is because of the various side effects like heartburn, sore throat, decalicification of bones, teeth, etc. So in order to avoid all these side effects it is better for expectant mothers to carefully monitor the intake of lemon juice.(9)
9. Headache And Migraines
Lemons consist of the amino acid tyramine which causes a sudden stimulation of blood flow to our brains. This sudden flow results in migraines and headaches. So now you have another reason to avoid the over consumption of lemons.
The above mentioned side effects may be over shadowed by all the benefits of using lemon, but you still need to be aware of them so that if you do face any of them you would at least know the reason and in turn will be able to take the necessary preventive measures.
Do you know of any other side effects of lemon? Do share it with us!(10)
10. Stomach Upset
Another side effect of the acidic lemons is an upset stomach. The acidity remains in the body until it is completely digested. Though it is considered beneficial as it helps in proper digestion, over consumption of lemons can cause irritation in the mucous membrane and result in other problems such as acid reflux, stomach pain or heartburn.
The next side effect in our list is excess urination and dehydration. Very rarely, lemon juice can also have diuretic effect. The acid shows diuretic properties due to high content of vitamin C and ascorbic acid. Though lemon is often used to detox your body, it can also lead to dehydration. If you feel dehydrated or notice that you have a frequent urge for urination, then it is advisable to reduce the consumption of lemons.
[ Read: Risks of Eating Too Much Ginger ]
There is no doubt that lemon juice is extremely beneficial in aiding weight loss when consumed with other ingredients. This makes it one of the most preferred drinks for overweight people. It stays beneficial only when you stick to just one glass everyday. But consuming more than that can cause problems like weakness in the body, lethargy, lack of concentration, etc.
- When life gives you lemons, make lemon water- https://podcasts.ufhealth.org/when-life-gives-you-lemons-make-lemon-water/
- In vitro study of enamel erosion caused by soft drinks and lemon juice in deciduous teeth analysed by stereomicroscopy and scanning electron microscopy- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8877092/
- A tropical skin eruption- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2094864/
- Are Natural Ingredients Effective in the Management of Hyperpigmentation? A Systematic Review-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5843359/
- Risk factors for gastroesophageal reflux disease: the role of diet- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4223119/
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): A Review of Conventional and Alternative Treatments- https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51198815_Gastroesophageal_Reflux_Disease_GERD_A_Review_of_Conventional_and_Alternative_Treatments
- Risk of Kidney Stones: Influence of Dietary Factors, Dietary Patterns, and Vegetarian–Vegan Diets- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7146511/
- Vitamin C in human health and disease is still a mystery ? An overview- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC201008/
- Effects of Dietary Patterns during Pregnancy on Preterm Birth: A Birth Cohort Study in Shanghai- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8308829/
- Canker sores from allergy to weak organic acids (citric and acetic): Case report and clinical study- https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/002187075690154X
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