Obesity, nutrition may up kidney stones

Sept. 5, 2012 at 9:50 PM
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SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Increased obesity and poor nutrition may be fueling the increase in kidney stones in U.S. adults, a food expert says.

"It is possible that better reporting and treatment options for kidney stones may have contributed to the numbers, there are other factors that might lend themselves to the development of kidney stones in children and adults -- the increase in obesity and poor nutrition," Phil Lempert, a food industry analyst, trend watcher and creator of supermarketguru.com, said in a statement. "Low fluid intake and high intakes of sodium as well as animal fat and proteins can contribute to kidney stones as well."

A study by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Rand Corp. found the number of U.S. adults getting kidney stones nearly doubled since 1994.

"Hydration and a proper diet are the best ways to prevent stone formation. Drinking fresh lemon in water may help reduce the risk of kidney stone formation," Lempert said in a statement. "Lemon juice increases the level of citrate in the urine, which in turn may prevent the formation of kidney stones."

For some, avoiding certain high-oxalate foods may aid in preventing kidney stones including: Swiss chard, rhubarb, spinach, beets, wheat germ, soybean crackers, peanuts, okra, chocolate and sweet potatoes. Medium-oxalate foods include grits, grapes, celery, green pepper, red raspberries, fruitcake, strawberries, marmalade and liver, the Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation said.

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