MILK 'N HONEY HEALTH FOODS

 

PREVENTING AND DEALING WITH KIDNEY STONES

       One in eleven people will experience a kidney stone during their lifetime. Around 80 % of kidney stones are calcium/oxalate stones.  Oxalate is an acid found in many fruits and vegetables and also produced in the liver.  Calcium binds to oxalate acid in the intestinal tract and prevents it from freely entering the urine.  Too little calcium and two much oxalate results in unbound oxalate entering the urine and combining with calcium in an alkaline urine to form stones. 

       Drinking ample amounts of water will usually flush out such stones before they increase in size and cause a problem.  Drinking a lot of water is critical to kidney stone prevention.  The parathyroid glands regulate calcium metabolism and if they are over active (hyperparathyroidism), this can lead to kidney stones as well.

       Kidney stones can also be formed from uric acid when the urine is persistently acidic.  Uric acid is formed from purines which are abundant in animal protein. When uric acid becomes concentrated in the urine it can combine with calcium to form stones.  Another type of kidney stones, calcium phosphate stones, are caused by the combination of high urine calcium and very alkaline urine.  Two much Sodium in the diet causes the kidneys to excrete more calcium into the urine. When high levels of calcium in the urine combine with oxalate acid and phosphorus, the stage is set for kidney stone development.

       Kidney stones can be prevented by insuring there is a sufficient amount of magnesium in the diet.  Magnesium helps to process calcium in the body so that the calcium from food can be utilized properly. Insufficient magnesium can result in too much unprocessed calcium passing into the kidneys where it can become bound to oxalates and form kidney stones.  Magnesium has been shown to increase the solubility of calcium oxalate and inhibit both calcium phosphate and calcium oxalate stone formation.  

       Calcium makes up around 90% of kidney stones. Studies have shown that taking 500 mg of magnesium citrate on a daily basis can prevent kidney stones from forming and can also decrease the size of existing stones to make them easier to pass.  Citrate is a common acid found in foods and is present in high amounts in citrus fruits. Citrate binds with calcium in the urine thereby reducing the amount of calcium available to form calcium oxalate stones. It also prevents tiny calcium oxalate crystals from growing and massing together into larger stones. Finally, it makes the urine less acidic, which inhibits the development of uric acid stones.  At Milk ‘N Honey we offer a powdered form of magnesium citrate called Natural Calm’s which has a good track record of effectiveness. 

       Most kidney stones are caused by abnormal accumulation of calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate.  Vitamin B6 has been shown to help keep oxalate levels in the urine at manageable levels.  Studies have shown a substance called Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP-6) significantly inhibits the formation of calcium oxalate crystallization.  In the past, diets high in rice bran were used to treat kidney stones. IP-6 is a rice bran extract and is available at Milk ‘N Honey as a supplement. 

       A supplement called UriCare from the Himalaya Company contains a compound called cystone.  Cystone reduces stone forming substances and causes the expulsion of stones by micro pulverization. UriCare provides overall support to the kidneys and bladder for normal urinary tract function.  It supports the mucosal integrity of the urinary tract and normal composition of urine and the kidney's crystalloid-colloid balance.  UriCare is available at Milk ‘N Honey

       Asparagus roots (not the stalks) have been shown to increase the urine output of the kidneys and thus increase the elimination of calcium/oxalate kidney stones.  The stalks of the asparagus plant can help to alkalinize the urine when stones are being formed by the presence of two much uric acid in the urine  Asparagus root extract is available at Milk N Honey

       A product called Acid A Cal from the Company Enzymatic Therapy helps to acidify an over alkaline urine and thus helps to break down calcium/oxalate stones.  This product should not be used with uric acid stones as such stones are caused by too much acid being present.  A product from the Solaray Company called Uric Acid Cleanse can be used to reduce uric acid levels in the body.  

       For those who are prone to developing kidney stones, the use of the above discussed products will provide a measure of protection from such stones forming.