Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lemonade to Avoid Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are solid pieces of material that form in a kidney. They can stay there or they may travel down the urinary tract until they are eliminated naturally. Unfortunately, kidney stones can also get stuck in the ureter, bladder or urethra. The result can be bleeding, blockage of urine flow and excruciating pain. Thankfully, there are natural ways to greatly reduce your risk of having this most common disorder of the urinary tract, including simply drinking lemonade.

New research shows that lemonade is an effective -- and delicious -- way for kidney-stone-prone people to slow the development of new stones.

"When treating patients in our kidney stone center, we put everyone on lemonade therapy," says Steven Y. Nakada, chair and professor of urology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Nakada spoke during a news conference on kidney stone research at this week's annual meeting of the American Urological Association in Atlanta.

Drink more water throughout the day. For people with a history of kidney stones, doctors usually recommend passing about 2.6 quarts (2.5 liters) of urine a day. Your doctor may ask that you measure your urine output to ensure that you're drinking enough water. People who live in hot, dry climates and those who exercise frequently may need to drink even more water to produce enough urine.

Lemons have the highest concentration of citrate - a natural inhibitor of kidney stone formation - of any citrus fruit.

In a recent study conducted by Sur, lemonade therapy - drinking four ounces of reconstituted lemon juice in two litres of water per day - was shown to decrease the rate of stone formation from 1.00 to 0.13 stones per patient.

Other fruit juices have less citrate and are often supplemented with calcium and contain oxalate, one of the principle components of kidney stones.

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