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Fresh Tomato Juice May Help Prevent Kidney Stones

Analysis suggests it may be cheap alternative to supplementation with potassium citrate

THURSDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with recurrent hypocitraturic nephrolithiasis, fresh tomato juice may be a feasible alternative to traditional supplementation consisting of potassium citrate two to three times daily, researchers report in the March issue of Urology.

Erdal Yilmaz, M.D., of the University of Ankara in Ankara, Turkey, and colleagues analyzed juices of tomato, orange, lemon and mandarin when they were fresh, and also after the samples were stored at 4 degrees Celsius for one week.

Compared to the other juices, the researchers found that fresh tomato juice contained significantly higher levels of citrate and magnesium and lower levels of sodium and oxalate. They also found that citrate levels decreased and that oxalate levels increased in stored tomato juice.

"From the data reported for fresh tomato juice in this article, a similar effect [to traditional supplementation] might be expected from a daily consumption of 2 to 4 dL of fresh tomato juice. There are certain obvious advantages to such an approach. The intestinal absorption might be better, particularly in patients with short intestinal transit time. Fresh tomato juice also most certainly is considerably less expensive than the majority of available preparations of potassium citrate," states the author of an accompanying comment. "If future clinical studies prove that fresh tomato juice corresponds to the theoretical predictions, it seems to be a useful and easily accessible therapeutic tool for prevention of calcium stone recurrences."

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