Recent Research on Nutrition and Kidney Stones
There have been many studies on the
role of nutrition in helping to reduce kidney stones. A recent study conducted
Brigham and Womens Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that previous
recommendations to limit dairy products in an effort to reduce the risk of kidney stones
was misguided. This study conducted on more than 90,000 women, showed "that
women with the highest intake of dietary calcium had the lowest risk of kidney
Researchers have theorized that this is happening because "calcium is believed to neutralize the absorption of oxalate, a substance that is present in foods such as spinach and beets which has been linked to kidney stone formation."
It is very important to note that the reduced risk of kidney stones was not found for those who took calcium supplements. For those taking calcium supplement the risk of kidney stones increased slightly. Researcher theorized that this happens "because supplements are often not taken in conjunction with meals, limiting the calciums ability to neutralize the absorption of oxalate." This is one of the many reasons why I used diet I to increase my calcium intake, and avoid supplements.
Foods to consider avoiding
Oxalate combines with calcium to form insoluble crystals that make up most kidney stones.
Hence it is a good idea to avoid most oxalate foods like
|spinach (seems to produce the most oxalate)
|peanuts, peanut oil
|salt - causes more excretion of calcium in urine
|lots of meat
|soft drinks (have phosphoric acid)
Some foods to consider eating more often
|magnesium (dry milk in homemade yogurt increases the percent of magnesium content through food)
|2 cups of calcium
fortified orange juice a day provides:
protective citrate, a substitute for potassium citrate, a drug used to prevent kidney stones
additional calcium which research shows actually help break up the kidney stones.
|6-10 8oz. glasses of water a day
|Vitamin C - ONLY 500 mg a day. Ascorbic acid can inhibit urinary pH (which lowers urinary citrate, a natural inhibitor of kidney stones).
|potassium foods, such as fruits and vegetables
|small amounts of meat (about the size of a deck of cards), and, if possible, the elimination of red meat from the diet
|standard 800-1,000 mg of calcium per day from foods, not supplements. Low calcium may allow absorption of oxalates.
|Having overindulged, drink 2 full glasses of water.
|Get 10 mg of Vitamin B6 from food. One source of Vitamin B6: eat the tip of a banana, the dark part lodging between the banana and the skin.
|Also check for
Check intake of Thiazide diuretics (water pills) to reduce calcium excreted in urine.
|Check your risk for osteoporosis.
|Check for sodium in urine before diminishing salt too much.
HEALTHY EATING SITE INDEX
This index provides a list of further research summaries and recipes on some of the many ways foods can help prevent or reverse specific conditions. Just click on the ones that are of interest to you.
Rosemary C. Fisher.
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