Kidney Stones and Colas

Kidney (urinary) stones are one of the most painful disorders for a human being and one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), more
than one million cases of kidney stones were diagnosed as early as 1985. NIDDK estimates that ten percent of all Americans will have a kidney stone during their lifetime. Men frequently between the ages of twenty and forty are affected more than women. Young men are also heavy consumers of soft drinks.

Suggesting a link between soft drinks and kidney stones, researchers conducted an intervention trial that involved 1,009 men who had suffered kidney stones and drank at least 5 1/3 ounces of cola per day. One-half the men were asked to refrain from drinking colas, while the others were not.

Over a three year period, drinkers of cola beverages, acidified only with phosphoric acid and those who reduced their consumption to less than half their customary levels, were one-third less likely to experience a recurrence of kidney stones. Among those who usually drank soft drinks acidified with citric acid (with or without phosphoric acid), drinking less had no effect. While more research needs to be done on the cola-stone connection, the NIDDK includes cola beverages on a list of foods that doctors may advise patients to avoid.

Posted March 2005 | Permanent Link

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