They say “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” However, a scientific study might have tweaked this a little bit to “When life gives you kidney stones, make lemonade.” Yup, one of our favorite drinks can be more than just a thirst quencher.
Steven Y. Nakada and his colleagues from the University of Wisconsin, Madison found that when lemon is turned into low-sugar or sugar-free lemonade, it can slow the development of kidney stones.
Lemon juice has a considerable amount of citrate, and citrate is one of the stone-preventing substances that people prone to kidney stones significantly lack.
The lack of citrate in our system is usually how kidney stones are formed together with the supersaturation of urine because of stone-forming salts.
Doctors often prescribe potassium citrate in the form of pills or liquid as it has been proven to work well. However, lemon juice is rich in natural citrate as well and can be a substitute.
Lemonade can be an alternative to pricey medication, especially if it is only as a form of prevention.
“To reduce kidney stones, you have to increase your fluid intake so that you pass 1.5 to 2 liters of urine a day,” said Marshall Stoller, MD of the University of San Francisco.
To make the lemon juice, the researchers of the study recommend mixing ½ cup of concentrated lemon juice with 7 cups of water. If you prefer some taste, you can add a little amount of sugar.
However, Nakada et. al. said it is also crucial to watch your diet as lemon juice is just a way of prevention. Our eating habits and diet can sure be the other catalysts of kidney stones.
Consuming too much food rich in oxalates (chocolate, nuts, spinach), red meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood, and drinking too much caffeine can trigger kidney stones.