Drinks that may keep kidney stones at bay

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• People with a history of calciumoxalate kidney stones can safely drink milk with meals, confirms a study from Washington State University in Spokane. When participants drank either 12 ounces of milk or 16 ounces of apple juice with meals of moderate oxalate content, urinary oxalate excretion was 18% lower on the milk test diet compared with the juice diet, making the milk less risky. It seems the calcium in milk binds with oxalate, preventing its excretion in urine, where it would raise the risk of forming oxalate stones.

Journal of the American Dietetic Association, March 1998.

• Women who drank the most liquids-six or more 8-ounce servings a day--were 62 % less likely to develop kidney stones over an eight-year period than women who drank less in a Harvard study of 81,000 women with no history of stones. Caffeinated and decaf coffee, tea and wine were associated with less risk, while grapefruit juice increased stone risk 44%. The researchers speculate grapefruit juice may be risky because it creates an alkaline urine or it may be an unexpected source of oxalate. One thing remains certain: The more liquids you drink, the better.

Annals of Internal Medicine, April 1998.

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