Orange juice may help prevent kidney stone recurrence

September 7, 2006

A daily glass of orange juice may help prevent the recurrence of kidney stones better than other citrus fruit juices such as lemonade, according to a small study from the University of Texas Southwesten Medical Center, Dallas.

A daily glass of orange juice may help prevent the recurrence of kidney stones better than other citrus fruit juices such as lemonade, according to a small study from the University of Texas Southwesten Medical Center, Dallas. Although many people assume that all citrus fruit juices help prevent the formation of kidney stones, the findings indicate that not all have the same effect.

“Orange juice could potentially play an important role in the management of kidney stone disease and may be considered an option for patients who are intolerant of potassium citrate,” said lead author Clarita Odvina, MD.

In the study, 13 volunteers underwent three phases, each lasting 1 week. Chosen in random order, the phases included a distilled water or controlled phase, an orange juice phase, and a lemonade phase. There was a 3-week interval between phases.

Orange juice, researchers found, boosted the levels of citrate in the urine and reduced the crystallization of uric acid and calcium oxalate, but lemonade did not increase the levels of citrate.

The new findings come on the heels of two studies presented at the 2006 AUA annual meeting, one showing that mildly hypocitraturic patients experience significant increases in urinary citrate levels and decreases in stone formation when they regularly ingest lemonade therapy, and the other showing that calcium oxalate stone formers receiving lemonade therapy sustain higher total urine volume and urinary citrate than those on potassium citrate.