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Drinking Diet Soda May Stop Kidney Stones

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Diet soda and kidney stones

New research shows that drinking diet soda may prevent kidney stones formed from calcium. Citrate and malate in diet soda increases alkalinity in the body, preventing the formation of calcium kidney stones.

Researchers studied fifteen popular diet sodas, finding that Diet Sunkist orange had the highest amount of total alkali. If diet Sunkist orange is not your first drink choice, you can try Diet 7-Up to prevent kidney stones. The study showed that Diet 7-up had the highest amount of citrate alkali.

Anthony Y. Smith, MD, spokesperson for the American Urological Association says the study does not suggest trading water for diet sodas to prevent kidney stones. “However, this study suggests instead that patients with stone disease who do not drink soda may benefit from moderate consumption."

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Kidney stones are extremely painful, and have a tendency to recur. When kidney stones develop, the intense pain happens as the body tries to pass the stone in “waves”, much like colic. The pain of a kidney stone occurs suddenly, requiring emergency care for relief of pain, and definite diagnosis.

Brian Eisner, M.D., of the University of California San Francisco, reported the findings, at the American Urological Association. Dr. Eisner says drinking regular soda may yield the same benefits for kidney stone prevention, but "We chose diet drinks because we wanted to be able to recommend something that was healthier for our patients.”

The new study shows that drinking diet soda might alleviate the recurrence of kidney stones. The American Urological Association suggests that moderate diet soda intake might be enough to stop kidney stones from forming.

J Urol, suppl. 2009: 181, 4, abstract 1832.