Lemon is an evergreen citrus fruit of the lemon tree. They are used in the form of juice, pulp, pickles, and as well as a cleansing agent. Lemons provide many health and beauty benefits as they are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and dietary fibers, etc. However, there are some side effects of eating too many lemons.
Side Effects of Eating Too Many Lemons
Some major side effects of lemons are as follows
(1) Can Give Rise To Tooth Erosion
Vitamin C in lemons protects against scurvy and reduces the risk of bleeding and swollen gums. However, lemons are acidic and in excessive quantity, citric acid in lemon may harm the enamel of the teeth and give rise to teeth erosion.
The antimicrobial properties of lemons protect our teeth and gums from bacterias, viruses, and other infections, and help in maintaining oral health. But, tooth erosion ( due to citric acid) makes our teeth vulnerable to infections and other oral problems such as the sensitivity of teeth.
Damage to teeth enamel can’t be reversed and it is better to avoid drinking too much lemon juice. Using a straw to drink lemon juice is also good as it minimizes contact of acids with the teeth, and reduces the risk of teeth erosion.
(2) May Cause And Worsen Heartburn
In large doses, citric acid in lemons may trigger improper functioning of the esophageal sphincter and increase the risk of heartburn.
The esophageal sphincter is a bundle of muscles that separates the esophagus and stomach. It ensures that the acid in the stomach doesn’t go upwards into the esophagus region.
The citric acid in lemons causes improper functioning of the esophageal muscle and prevents it from working properly. It may cause the stomach acid to go upward into the esophagus and cause heartburn ( burning sensation around the chest).
If you are prone to heartburn, consuming lemons may worsen the heartburn situation.
To stay safe, consume lemons or lemon juice moderately.
At moderate levels, antioxidants in lemon reduce the risk of esophagus cancer.
(3) May Cause Frequent Urination & Dehydration
Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that protects against cancer, and provide many other benefits such as strengthening the immune system, improving cardiovascular health, improving respiratory health, and so on.
Vitamin C is a natural diuretic and increases urination frequency in the body.
This helps to flush out toxins, impurities, and excess mineral salts from the body.
However, excessive consumption may deprive our body of the essential salts ( required for the proper functioning of the body), and increased urine frequency can cause inconvenience.
Normally, lemon doesn’t cause this problem but large doses of highly concentrated lemon juice can trigger the issue.
(4) Are Highly Contaminated With Pesticides
Often, lemon slices are used as a garnish on the rim of the glass and some people also put an entire lemon wedge in their health drinks.
This may look esthetically pleasing but is not always healthy.
Lemons are often coated with wax to protect them from damage during shipping and inspection. This wax coating is usually prepared by toxic jelly, ethyl alcohol, and ethanol.
By dipping lemon wedges in our drink, we may contaminate our drinks.
To prevent this, wash lemons thoroughly before using them.
Instead of putting entire lemon wedges in your drink, simply squeeze a lemon or slice in your drink, and enjoy the benefits without the risk of toxic wax coating.
Or, buy organic or locally grown lemons as they are less likely to have harmful pesticides or wax coating on them.
Even then, wash your lemons thoroughly before consuming them.
(5) Increases Risk of Ulcers and GERD
Because of its high citric acid levels, overconsuming lemons may cause nausea, vomiting, and heartburn.
Acids in lemon may even break down our esophageal and stomach lining and could increase the risk of ulcers and Gastroesophageal Reflux disease.
(6) Can Increases Risk of Kidney Stones And Gallbladder Stones
Vitamin C and other antioxidants in lemon protect our vital organs like the liver and kidneys from free radical damage.
Dietary fibers in lemon promote detoxification and reduce the detoxification burden from kidneys.
However, in large doses lemons are bad for kidneys.
In large doses, oxalates in lemon may bind with minerals such as calcium and potassium, and increase the risk of kidney stones and gall bladder stones.
Eat lemons in moderation, and if you suffer from kidney disorders, consult your doctor before consuming lemons or lemon juice to ensure there is no food-drug interference.
(7) Not Suitable For Dry Skin
Vitamin C and other antioxidants in lemon juice protect the skin from free radical damage and reduce various signs of premature aging like fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, dark spots, and skin blemishes.
However, because of its acidic properties, topical application of lemon extract may cause skin irritation, excessive dryness, redness, and skin peeling.
These symptoms may worsen in people with sensitive skin.
(8) Could Worsen Acne And Pimples
Because of its acidic properties, lemon may worsen skin problems like acne and pimples.
It may also cause peeling of the skin, bleeding, and severe acne breakouts that may leave a long-term mark on the face.
(9) Not Suitable For Dry Hair
Vitamin C and other antioxidants in lemon protect our scalp and hair follicles from free radical damage, and protect against premature greying of hair, hair fall, split ends, etc.
However, topical application of lemon juice is bad for the scalp.
Some people directly squeeze lemon on their hair, which is wrong and should be avoided.
Because of its acidic properties, direct application of lemon juice may harm the scalp.
It can cause hair dryness, and if there is any wound or pimple on the scalp, lemon juice can cause extreme pain.
Lemon is often used in home remedies for treating dandruff and other hair problems but is often diluted with water or mixed with other ingredients.
(10) Too many Fibers Are Bad
Dietary fibers in lemon improve bowel movement and provide relief from constipation, and other digestive problems like abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and flatulence, etc.
Dietary fibers also provide other benefits such as managing cholesterol levels, helping with detoxification, regulating blood sugar, promoting weight loss, and so on.
However, too many dietary fibers may cause poor absorption of nutrients and increase the risk of diarrhea and other digestive problems like abdominal pain, intestinal gas, and intestinal blockage, etc.
(11) Give Rise To Discolored Skin
Prolonged use of lemon extract or lemon juice on the skin may cause skin discoloration, a condition in which some parts of the skin may appear lighter, and some may appear darker.
(12) Increased Risk of Photosensitivity
Overconsuming lemons for a long time may increase the risk of photosensitivity. Lemons make our skin more sensitive to UV rays of the skin.
Prolonged exposure to UV rays may cause wrinkles, leathery skin, liver spots, actinic keratosis, and solar elastosis.
Consume lemons in moderation as at a moderate level, vitamin C and other antioxidants in lemon protects our cells from harmful UV rays of the sun, and reduce the harmful effects of UV rays.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.