DASH diet may ward off kidney stones

August 19, 2009 in Gastrointestinal Health, Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

DASH diet may ward off kidney stones

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is proven to help people lower elevated blood pressure. Now, a new study from Harvard reports it may also curb people's risk of developing kidney stones.

Eating according to the DASH diet involves a high intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and moderate amounts of low-fat dairy and lean meat and fish.

In this new study, a total of nearly 242,000 men and women in the health profession were followed for an average of 14 to 18 years completing detailed questionnaires on their health, diet and other lifestyle habits.

Overall, adults with the most DASH-like diets had a 40 percent to 45 percent lower risk of developing kidney stones compared with their peers whose eating habits were least like the DASH diet.

This link held true when researchers weighed other factors that affect kidney stone risk, such as body weight, high blood pressure and fluid intake.

Some kidney stones are made up of calcium in combination with a compound called oxalate. Some people with a history of kidney stones avoid oxalate-containing foods like certain fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes.

However, despite containing many foods with high oxalate content, the DASH diet appeared to lower kidney stone risk.

Researchers believe this is because many people with kidney stones also have high blood pressure and controlling this risk factor is may be more important than avoid foods with oxalate.

People with kidney stones are advised to work with their doctors to determine the type of kidney stones they have as some stones are not composed of calcium and oxalate.

The study, published in the August 13, 2009 issue of Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, was not a clinical trial that directly tested the effects of DASH on kidney stone risk.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.