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Preventing Recurrence Of Kidney Stones

James Meschino DC, MS, ROHP
Kidney stones affect about 12% of men and 5% of women over their lifetime. Certain factors appear to increase risk of kidney stones such as a high animal fat diet with resulting increased urinary acidity, low fiber intake, low fluid intake, gout (high uric acid levels), high blood pressure, family history, being overweight, and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis. There is no conclusive evidence that calcium supplements or foods containing oxalates increase risk of kidney stones. High doses of vitamin C (above 750 mg per day) may aggravate kidney stone development in susceptible individuals. As such, individuals with a history of kidney stones should make dietary and lifestyle adjustments to minimize the impact of the preceding risk factors.

Natural Supplements Shown To Dissolve And Eliminate Stones
When kidney stones are present it is imperative to follow the treatment recommendations outlined by your medical doctor. If no corrective treatment is planned, or you wish to prevent the recurrence of stone formation, then you should consider supplementation with Chanca piedra, along with Vitamin B6 and Magnesium. These natural agents have been shown to dissolve, eliminate and/or block the recurrence of kidney stones in human studies

Chanca piedra is a popular South American herb that has been used traditionally to dissolve and eliminate kidney stones and gallbladder stones. The English translation for Chanca piedra is “stone crusher.”

A 2006 Brazilian study showed that Chanca piedra appears to modify the shape and texture of stones to a smoother and more fragile form, which would allow foreasier elimination and/or dissolution of the stones.1

Another study published in Urological Research demonstrated that Chanca piedra has an inhibitory effect on crystal growth and aggregation in human urine, which may inhibit stone formation , acting as an important part of  a prevention strategy in those with a past history of kidney stones.

A 2006 study involving 150 kidney stone patients, as reported in the Journal of Urology, tested the efficacy of Chanca piedra supplementation in patients administered shock wave therapy. Shock wave therapy (delivered from outside the body) breaks down stones to facilitate their elimination. Upon completion of this therapy approximately half of the patients were given 2 grams of Chanca piedra every day, for 30 days. The remainder of the group did not take Chanca piedra and acted as controls. Stone clearance was assessed after 30, 60, 90 and 180 days by abdominal x-ray and ultrasound scan. The Chanca piedra patients  were shown to have a stone-free rate 10% -23% lower than the control group.3

Vitamin B6 and Magnesium: Supplementation with Vitamin B6 and magnesium has also shown positive effects on preventing the recurrence of kidney stones. In a landmark study 149 patients with longstanding recurrent kidney stones(calcium oxalate and mixed calcium oxalate/calcium phosphate), received 100 mg of magnesium 3 times a day and 10 mg of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) once a day for 4.5 to 6 years.  The mean rate of stone formation fell by 92.3%, from 1.3 stones per patient per year prior to the study to 0.10 stones per patient per year during the study.  No significant side effects occurred.(5) Another study using 500 mg of magnesium alone also showed impressive results in preventing the recurrenceof kidney stones in previous sufferers (6).

1Barros ME, Schor N, Boim MA. Effects of an aqueous extract from Phyllantus niruri on calcium oxalate crystallization in vitro. Urol Res. 2003 Feb;30(6):374-9. Epub 2003 Jan 21.

2Barros ME, Lima R, Mercuri LP, Matos JR, Schor N, Boim MA. Effect of extract of Phyllanthus niruri on crystal deposition in experimental urolithiasis.Urol Res. 2006 Dec;34(6):351-7.

3Micali S, Sihinolfi MC, Celia A, De Stefani S, Grande M, Cicero AF, Bianchi G. Can Phyllanthus niruri affect the efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for renal stones? A randomized, prospective, long-term study. J Urol. 2006 Sep;176(3):1020-2.

Murugaiyah V, Chan KL. Antihyperuricemic lignans from the leaves of Phyllanthus niruri. Planta Med. 2006 Nov;72(14):1262-7. Epub 2006 Sep 1

  1. Prien EL Sr, Gershoff SN. Magnesium oxide-pyridoxine therapy for recurrent calcium oxalate calculi. J Urol 1974;112:509-512.
  2. J Am Coll Nutr 1982;1:179-85.
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