Sugary Drinks Increase Kidney Stone Risk: Study

All sugary drinks, not just soda, may increase a person’s risk of developing kidney stones, according to the findings of a new study. 

Research published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found people who consumed one sugar sweetened soda or more per day had an increased risk of developing kidney stones by 23%.

However, individuals who consumed one or more sugar sweetened non-cola beverages per day, like clear soda, had an even higher risk of developing kidney stones. Their risk jumped to 33%.

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Even sugar sweetened punch drinkers were found to have a heightened risk of developing kidney stones. Their risk, 18% higher, was not quite as high as the soda groups, but still revealed a link to developing kidney stones. Participants who drank non-cola soda’s sweetened with artificial sweeteners, instead of sugar, had only a marginally higher risk of developing kidney stones.

Researchers performed three large ongoing cohort studies which followed nearly 200,000 people over the course of eight years or more. Dr. Gary Curhan and his team of researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass. used questionnaires given every two to four years to assess participants diet, lifestyle, health, consumption of different beverages and whether the participants developed kidney stones. None of the participants had stones at the start of the study.

Kidney stones develop when there are high levels of certain substances in the urine. One of the recommended treatments for kidney stones is to consume large quantities of fluids. According to the findings of the new study, this recommendation may increase the prevalence and risk of developing kidney stones if certain sugary drinks increase the likelihood of developing stones.

Researchers suggest instead of the amount of fluids consumed, the type of fluid which is consumed is more important in developing and treating kidney stones.

While the study does not establish a cause and effect relationship, it does indicate an association between sugar and the development of kidney stones. An alarming find considering the amount of sugary beverages which are consumed on a daily basis by the average American.

A recent study conducted by Harvard researchers found a link between obesity related diseases and consuming sugary drinks. The research revealed consuming sugary drinks such as soda, sports drinks and energy drinks lead to weight gain and increased a person’s risk for obesity related diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. Offering yet another warning to consuming soda, energy drinks and other sugary drinks.

The new study revealed some drinks were linked to a lower risk of developing kidney stones. Caffeinated coffee was found to offer a 26% lower risk of developing stones. Other beverages, like decaffeinated coffee, orange juice and tea, also offered a lower risk. Alcoholic beverages, specifically wine and beer, offered a 33% and 41% reduced risk of kidney stones, respectively.

Tags: Kidney
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