When it comes to kidney stones, there are a lot of myths and half-truths out there. With so much misinformation floating around, it’s no wonder that people are confused about what does and doesn’t help when it comes to preventing kidney stones. In this blog post, we’ll set the record straight on one of the most common questions we get here at the National Kidney Foundation: is cranberry juice good for kidney stones?
#1: Will drinking cranberry juice help me avoid getting kidney stones?
There is no clear evidence that cranberry juice prevents kidney stones. However, some studies have shown that compounds in cranberry juice may help to prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract, which could help to reduce your risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTIs can sometimes lead to kidney stones, so cranberry juice may indirectly help to reduce your risk of stone formation.
#2: I’ve heard that cranberry juice is acidic, and acidic foods can contribute to kidney stones. Is this true?
Cranberries are indeed acidic, but so are many other fruits and vegetables that are considered healthy staples of a balanced diet. The acidity of cranberry juice is not thought to contribute to kidney stone formation. In fact, drinking cranberry juice may actually help to keep your urine less acidic, which could theoretically help to reduce your risk of stone formation.
#3: I have a family history of kidney stones. Does this mean I’m more likely to develop them?
A family history of kidney stones is one of the risk factors for stone formation. Other risk factors include dehydration, certain medical conditions (e.g., gout, inflammatory bowel disease), and certain medications (e.g., diuretics, calcium channel blockers). If you have a family history of kidney stones, talk to your doctor about ways you can reduce your risk.
#4: Are there any dietary changes I can make to prevent kidney stones?
Drinking plenty of water is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent kidney stones. In addition, reducing your intake of salt and animal protein may also help to lower your risk.
Conclusion: Cranberry juice is a popular home remedy for UTIs, but there is no clear evidence that it prevents kidney stones. Some studies suggest that compounds in cranberry juice may help to prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract, which could indirectly reduce the risk of stone formation. Cranberries are acidic, but so are many other fruits and vegetables that are considered healthy staples of a balanced diet. If you have a family history of kidney stones, talk to your doctor about ways you can reduce your risk.