CAN COFFEE AND TEA HELP PREVENT KIDNEY STONES?

Categories: Articles, Beverages, Food Education, Kidney Stones, Research Studies

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http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=30199

 

coffee cupCAN COFFEE AND TEA HELP PREVENT KIDNEY STONES?

Kidney stones are common, painful and expensive to treat. It is estimated that about three people in every 100 in the UK will suffer from them.

And Koo Stark, former girlfriend of Prince Andrew and herself a sufferer, recently revealed in ‘Hello’ magazine that the condition will prevent her having the home birth she would have preferred for the baby she is carrying.

But according to a new report drinking plenty of coffee, tea, beer or wine could reduce the risk of getting a kidney stone while apple juice and grapefruit juice could, however, increase the risk.

The finding comes from a six-year survey of more than 45,000 American men, aged 40 to 75, by a team from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA. The survey is part of a long-term study of cancer, heart and other diseases in which more than 50,000 health professionals are taking part.

Their drinking habits, with 21 different beverages from water to hard spirits, were compared with the development of 753 kidney stones among the men, none of whom had had one before.

After allowing for other effects, including other elements of the diet, the Harvard team put the decrease in risk at 10% for each 240ml (just over one and half cups) of coffee a day and 14% for tea. The same amount of beer (under half a pint) gave a reduced risk of 21% and of wine 39%. The risk increased by 35% for each 240ml of apple juice, and 37% for 240ml of grapefruit juice.

While the survey was on men over 40 who had not had a stone there was no reason to believe the findings would be any different for women, younger men or men who had already had kidney stones containing calcium oxalate.

The Harvard team suggest that caffeine interferes with the action of a urine-reducing hormone on the kidneys, while alcohol slows production of the hormone, resulting in more and weaker urine with less chance of crystals forming. More research is needed, they say.

Patients are usually advised to drink a lot to increase the volume of their urine, but this does not always work in preventing another stone. It would seem that what people drink could be as important as how much they drink.

Note to Editors:

Known medically as calculi, kidney stones may be formed due to an infection in the urinary tract or from an excess of salts in the bloodstream which crystallise in the urine. Stones which remain in the kidney may cause no discomfort but even a small stone on the move to the bladder can cause excruciating pain by tearing the lining of the urinary tract.

Distributed by PR Newswire on behalf of Coffee News Information Service


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