Avoid and treat kidney stones with easy, effective treatments

Easy Pass

An HSI member named John writes: “Forty-six years ago I was having to pass a kidney stone about once a month.”

No doubt, that simple comment probably sends shivers down the spine of anyone who’s endured the passing of a kidney stone. But John found a way to easily alleviate his problem.

Apples & honey

John states that the pain of passing each kidney stone was “excruciating.” But then everything changed.

John: “I then read Dr. Jarvis’s book ‘Vermont Folk Medicine’ talking about apple cider vinegar and honey being so beneficial to changing the PH of the body to prevent kidney stones. I immediately went on this regimen by taking a half bottle of honey and filling it up with apple cider vinegar. Then I put about an inch of this mixture in a glass and filled it up with water. I did this every morning since and have not had another stone in 46 years.

“Cheap treatment and I have recommended it to anyone that I talk to that has kidney stones and they all are helped.”

John’s remarkable success with this simple treatment sounded almost too good to be true, so I checked in with HSI Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., to get his take, and he offered a word of caution: “The acetic acid in the vinegar has been used for centuries in folk medicine, and I have no doubt there’s something to it. I see no problem with the regimen outlined other than one thing: honey is a highly refined (by the bees) carbohydrate, so anyone with blood sugar problems must be aware that even totally natural raw honey contains a heavy simple sugar load.”

And I have this note to add about apple cider vinegar: Avoid the typical ACV product that you’ll find in most large grocery chains. Instead, look for raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, available at many health food stores. And as always, talk to your doctor before starting this or any other therapeutic regimen.

Lemon treatment

Prevention of kidney stones has been the topic of several previous e-Alerts.

In the e-Alert “Toxic Tub” (7/19/07), I told you about a small study in which 12 kidney stone patients who drank lemonade daily were followed for four years. Results showed that subjects formed fewer kidney stones and formed them at a slower rate during the time they drank lemonade. Over the four-year study period none of the subjects required medical treatment for their condition.

Lemon juice contains natural citrate, which helps prevent certain salts from forming kidney stones. Of course, your typical lemonade product presents the same problem that honey does: too much simple sugar.

And then there’s the soy problem.

A few years ago I told you about a study in which researchers found extremely high oxalate contents in soybeans, tofu, and commercially processed soy products. Oxalate is a compound that binds with calcium in the kidneys and can lead to the formation of kidney stones. The American Dietetic Association recommends no more than 10 mg of oxalate per serving. In the study, soy cheese had the lowest amount of oxalate at 16 mg per serving, while textured soy protein contained an astounding 638 mg per serving.

Based on these figures, researchers concluded that soy products are unsafe for anyone at risk of developing kidney stones.