Subjects: Behavioral health
Routine preventive measures for kidney stones might someday include consumption of diet soda, especially the fruit-flavored ones, if the findings of a team led by Brian Eisner withstand further scrutiny.
The UCSF-based scientists proposed that surprising possibility at the recently concluded meetings of the American Urological Association.
Using ion chromatography, Eisner and colleagues measured the amount alkalis such as citrate and malate in 15 diet soda products. These 2 chemicals increase urine alkalinity and so create a milieu that inhibits formation and growth of kidney stones.
Diet Sunkist Orange and Diet 7-Up had the highest alkali content according to Eisner, and fruit-flavored concoctions in general contained much more of the good stuff than colas.
“It’s not clear how all of these products got their alkali,” Eisner told MedPageToday. “The drinks with the highest alkali in our study presumably got it from the orange or lemon-lime juices that were added to them.”
Diet Sunkist Orange had a total of 10.49 meq/L total alkali, mostly as the citrate. Diet 7-Up took second with 9.79 meq/L, all from the citrate.
The top 10 finishers were all fruit-flavored (orange, lemon-lime, etc.). Diet Squirt was tenth at 3.93 meq/L total alkali, an amount that was more than twice as high as the top-scoring cola-like beverage, which for the record was Diet Mug Root Beer, at 1.72 meq/L.
Eisner’s group limited its investigation to diet drinks because, according to Eisner, “we wanted to be able to recommend something that was healthier for our patients.
We didn’t feel as comfortable recommending something with a lot of sugar or calories in it.”
AUA spokesperson Anthony Smith said the study “suggests that people with stone disease who do not drink soda may benefit from moderate consumption.”