06 February 2002
A diet low in animal proteins and low in salt may be an effective way to prevent kidney stones in those at risk.
These research findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (2002; 346 (Jan 10): 77-84), suggest that a diet low in animal protein and in salt can halve the risk of kidney stones, compared with the traditional low-calcium diet sometimes recommended, particularly in sufferers with a high urine calcium level.
The 5-year trial compared a low-calcium diet with a normal-calcium, low-animal fat, low-salt diet, in men with recurrent stones and high urine calcium levels.
Men on the normal-calcium, low-animal fat, low-salt diet had half the risk of recurrent stones of that of men on the low-calcium diet.
More than 1 million Australians have suffered from kidney stones and are at risk of developing kidney stones again.
Mr Warwick Prime, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Kidney Foundation said, 'The low-protein, low-sodium (low-salt) diet is safe and effective. We recommend that Australians at risk of kidney stones consult their doctors about this valuable new approach to prevention.'
Dr John Knight, Honorary Medical Director for the Australian Kidney Foundation, said, 'The traditional diet recommendation for kidney stones has been a low-calcium diet but there has never been any evidence that this is beneficial. In fact, a low-calcium diet can be quite dangerous for those at risk of osteoporosis. For this reason, in the past the Australian Kidney Foundation has not made any recommendations about diet and kidney stones.'
Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before changing your diet if you have suffered from kidney stones.
Last Reviewed: 06 February 2002