Posted on Aug 04, 2023, 2 p.m.
People are eating processed foods and beverages now more than ever, but all those pastries, chips, snacks, ice cream, fruit drinks, and sodas can increase the risk of developing kidney stones, according to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition. The study indicates that high levels of consumption of added sugars which are most often found in abundance within processed foods/beverages can increase your odds of developing the condition.
In Europe between 5-9% of people suffer from kidney stones, 1-5% of the people are living with the painful condition in Asia, and 7-15% of Americans have developed kidney stones. Not only does this condition reduce your quality of life with severe pain, but other common symptoms such as chills, bloody urine, fever, nausea, and vomiting aren’t exactly fun either. In the long run kidney stones can lead to infections, swollen kidneys, renal insufficiency, and end-stage renal disease. Risk factors for developing the condition can include but are not limited to being an adult male, chronic diarrhea, dehydration, obesity, diabetes, gout, or inflammatory bowel disease.
“Ours is the first study to report an association between added sugar consumption and kidney stones,” said lead author Dr. Shan Yin, a researcher at the Affiliated Hospital of North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong, China. “It suggests that limiting added sugar intake may help to prevent the formation of kidney stones.”
For this study, the researchers analyzed data from 28,303 adults who were enrolled in the NHANES study which included the history of kidney stones. Participants’ estimated daily intake of added sugars from food and beverages was recorded twice: from in-person interviews and during subsequent telephone interviews between 3-10 days later.
Additionally, each participant was given a healthy eating index score (HEI-2015) to summarize their diet in terms of adequate intake of beneficial dietary components and moderation of potentially harmful foods such as saturated fat, refined grains, and sodium.
After taking into account a range of explanatory factors the findings revealed that those with a higher intake of added sugars at the beginning of the study tended to have a higher current prevalence of kidney stones, a lower HEI score, and a lower education level; the mean intake of added sugars was 272.1 calories per day which corresponds to 13.2% of total daily energy intake.
The percentage of energy intake from added sugars was positively and consistently correlated with kidney stones. Those whose intake of added sugars was among the 25% highest range were found to have a 39% increased odds of developing kidney stones, and those deriving over 25% of their total energy from added sugars were found to have 88% great odds of developing kidney stones compared to those who derived under 5% of their total energy from added sugars.
“Further studies are needed to explore the association between added sugar and various diseases or pathological conditions in detail,” cautioned Yin. “For example, what types of kidney stones are most associated with added sugar intake? How much should we reduce our consumption of added sugars to lower the risk of kidney stone formation? Nevertheless, our findings already offer valuable insights for decision-makers.”
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
Content may be edited for style and length.
References/Sources/Materials provided by: