Sunday, February 27, 2011

Diet Soda May Prevent Some Kidney Stones

Kidney stones from when the urine contains more crystal-forming substances, such as calcium, uric acid, and oxalate, than the body can dilute with the available fluid. Most kidney stones contain a combination of calcium and oxalate. According to new research published in the June issue of the Journal of Urology, drinking diet soda may present the most common type of kidney stones.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and their colleagues conducted a study to determine whether any commercially available drinks could help to prevent kidney stones. They found that diet versions of citrus-flavored sodas contain relatively high amounts of citrate, a compound which is known to inhibit the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones. Some people are at a higher risk for kidney stones because their urine contains low levels of citrate, so these sodas might serve as a form of citrate supplementation Although dark colas have little or no citrate, citrus-flavored sodas such as Diet Sunkist Orange, Diet 7Up, Sprite Zero, Diet Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Sierra Mist Free, Diet Orange Crush, Fresca, and Diet Mountain Dew, contain moderate amounts of citrate.

Potassium citrate supplements have long been used as a treatment for preventing calcium oxalate kidney stones. Based on this new research, citrus-flavored sodas might be useful in preventing kidney stones among people with low urinary levels of citrate, as well. However, further research is needed to determine whether drinking these sodas actually prevents formation of kidney stones, so it is still too early to advise those who suffer from kidney stones to drink these sodas as a form of preventive treatment.


Journal of Urology. 2010; 183(6): 2419-2423.

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