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Lemonade May Be Alternative Treatment for Kidney Stones

Lemon juice and water effective for kidney stone patients unable to take potassium citrate

WEDNESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Lemonade may be a viable alternative treatment for kidney stones in patients who cannot tolerate potassium citrate, according to two studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in Atlanta.

Glenn Preminger, M.D., of Duke University in Durham, N.C., and colleagues compared 15 patients treated with potassium citrate to 12 hypocitraturic nephrolithiasis patients who consumed a solution of 120 milliliters of lemon juice in 2 liters of water throughout each day. After a mean treatment period of 41.8 months, mean citrate levels in 11 of the 12 patients taking lemonade rose from 364 to 718 milligrams compared with patients taking potassium citrate, who had an increase from 360 to 832 mg. The mean kidney stone size and stone formation rate fell in lemonade consumers, the researchers report.

"Lemonade therapy appears to be a reasonable alternative for patients with mild-moderate hypocitraturia who are unable to tolerate potassium citrate," the authors write.

In another study, Kristina L. Penniston, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and colleagues compared the effects of potassium citrate and lemonade treatment in patients who were calcium oxalate stone formers. "Calcium oxalate stone formers managed with lemonade treatment sustain higher total urine volume and urinary citrate than those on potassium citrate, and maintain a favorable urine pH," the authors write.


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