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Is beer is good for kidney stones?

by Anonymous

Is beer is good for kidney stones? This is a 7mm stone prior to surgery as seen on an X-ray. OUCH

Is beer is good for kidney stones? This is a 7mm stone prior to surgery as seen on an X-ray. OUCH

Is beer is good for kidney stones?

I have heard that beer is good for kidney stones. Is this a myth or a fact? Please tell me as I am worried of kidney stones.

The Beer Doctor says:

Beer, is it good for kidney stones? This is something which has been a hotly debated issue in the medical field.

The kidneys act as filters in human body. The blood carries all the toxic metabolites from the body to the kidneys; the kidneys then filter all this toxic metabolites from the blood and convert it into urine, which is excreted out of the body.

In some people the minerals which are present in the urine aggregate, resulting in formation of crystals in the urinary tract. These cause conditions like Nephrolithiasis – stones in the kidneys, or Urolithiasis – a condition referring having calculi in the urinary tract which may pass to the urinary bladder. Continues below

The common cause is a high concentration of calcium in urine, a condition called hypercalciuria. This results due to excess intake of calcium, or due to genetic disorders which predisposes an individual to be more susceptible to develop a kidney stone.

There are a variety of chemicals which might lead to kidney stone formation, including cystine (an amino acid), oxalate, (a type of salt) and uric acid (as in the foods to avoid gout article).

Some chronic illnesses are associated with kidney stone formation, including cystic fibrosis, renal tubular acidosis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Coming to your question: does drinking beer help in preventing the kidney stones? Researchers conducted a random research in Finland and found that consumption of beer in moderate quantity every day actually reduced the risk of kidney stones by 40 per cent.

This effect was mainly explained due to the diuretic effect of the beer, which makes the kidney to excrete more water from the body in the form of urine. Beer itself, bring a fluid, adds to the total amount of fluids consumed per day and excess fluid dilates the urine and increases the volume of the urine, thus dissolving smaller stones and thus the voiding of smaller stones will become easier and less painful.

Beer is not the only drink that has this effect; researchers from Harvard found tea, red wine, cranberry juice and cola all have strong diuretic effect and can help in dissolving renal stones.

Recent researchers have the revealed that beer can also CAUSE kidney stones, as it contains lot of purine which is the building blocks for a uric acid renal stone.

So the true effect of beer on renal stones depends on the quantity of beer consumed every day. A moderate amount of beer consumption is good and helps in reducing the renal stones, while the effect of consumption of large quantity of beer can be detrimental and can affect your health in many ways.

For more information on healthy beer consumption being good for you, see my article: The Health Benefits of Beer.

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