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Soda, Other Sugary Drinks May Increase Risk of Kidney Stones, Study Says

May 26, 2013 07:39 PM EDT
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(Photo : REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Sugary drinks might be linked to an increased risk in developing kidney stones, a new study found citing

According to a research carried out at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, drinks that are sweetened are more likely to help develop kidney stones. The report's findings, which got published in this year's Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), stated that different drinks have different effects when it comes to prevent the recurrence of kidney stones.

The research, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, found that consumers who drink any sweetened beverage, including soda or fruit punch daily, are at a higher risk of developing kidney stones than people who drink these beverages more infrequently.

Researchers found that people who reported drinking at least one sugar-sweetened soda each day had a 23 percent increased kidney stone risk over people who only drank less than one of these beverages a week. And people who drank the most punch in the study had an 18 percent higher kidney stone risk compared with those who drank the least punch.

The study led by Dr. Pietro Manuel Ferraro at Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome and Dr. Gary Curhan at Harvard reviewed data from 194,095 patients who had never before had kidney stones, for an average of eight years. The subjects all reported what they drank (on an annual or biennial basis), and how many stones they got. 

"Although higher total fluid intake reduces the risk of stone formation, this information about individual beverages may be useful for general practitioners seeking to implement strategies to reduce stone formation in their patients," said Dr. Ferraro in a statement.

The results showed the following beverages increased the risk of kidney stones:  

  • Sugar-sweetened cola
  • non-cola drinks
  • artificially sweetened non-cola drinks
  • punch

Meanwhile, drinks associated with decreased risk of stones included:

  • caffeinated coffee (33 percent decreased risk)
  • decaffeinated coffee (16 percent)
  • tea (11 percent)
  • red wine (31 percent)
  • white wine (33 percent)
  • beer (41 percent)
  • orange juice (12 percent) Apple juice and grapefruit juice showed no correlation

Renal stones affect 20 percent of adult males in the US and around 10 percent of females, according to the report.

Symptoms of kidney stones include:

  • Back, groin, abdomen and/or genital pain that often comes on suddenly and gets worse. Passing a kidney stone can easily be described as the worst pain you've ever had.
  • Feeling nauseous, with or without throwing up.
  • Visible blood in your urine, in addition to painful urination.
  • Elevated body temperature, fever.

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