American researchers suggest a daily glass of orange juice could help prevent kidney stones better than other citrus juices.
Kidney stones develop when the urine is too concentrated, causing minerals and other chemicals in the urine to bind together. Over time, these crystals combine and grow into a stone.
The study findings, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, were based on a small study of 13 volunteers. Volunteers were randomly assigned to drink one liter every week of distilled water, orange juice, or lemonade while on constant metabolic diet.
All citrus juices contain citrate, a negatively charged form of citric acid that gives a sour taste to citrus fruits, and an important acid neutralizer and inhibitor of kidney stone formation.
Researchers report that while urinary calcium levels did not differ between the groups, urinary oxalate was higher during the orange juice phase, and uric acid was lower in the orange juice phase compared with both control and lemonade phases, suggesting a protective effect against kidney stones.
Crystallization of uric acid and calcium oxalate are the most frequently found ingredients in kidney stones.
Canada's consumption of orange juice has risen by more than 45 per cent since 1997, giving Canadians the highest per capita consumption in the world.
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