Diet Sodas May Help with Kidney Stones

Diet sodas have been scorned by many health experts as a drink that does more harm than good, but recent study shows that these sugar-free sodas may actually develop fewer kidney stones.

A proper alkaline pH balance in the dry can help in our body’s healthy functioning, and as we increase alkalinity in our body so is the augmentation of citraturia, a known factor that causes increased development of kidney stones.  Also called calcium stones, kidney stones are extremely painful and have a tendency to recur.  Whenever they develop, the intense pain happens as the body tries to pass the stone in "wave," much like colic.

The study was presented during the annual meeting of the American Urology Association held in Linthicum, Maryland.  Researchers from the University of California in San Francisco examined 15 popular diet sodas for the citrate and malate content, substances that are said to help dissolve kidney stones.  They have found out that these substances are enough to inhibit the formation of calcium stones, with Diet Sunkist Orange containing the highest amount of total alkaline substances and Diet 7-Up having the greatest amount of citrate alkali.

"Drinking regular soda may yield the same benefits for kidney stone prevention," said Dr. Brian Esner of the UCSF during the presentation to the AUA.  "But we chose diet drinks because we wanted to be able to recommend something that was healthier for our patients."

However, this does not mean you should drink more diet sodas.  Kidney stones are, in part, caused by dehydration.  People who suffer from recurring kidney stones are advised to drink more water.  "This study suggests instead that patients with stone disease who do not drink soda may benefit from moderate consumption," said Dr. Anthony Y. Smith, a spokesperson for the American Urological Association.