Cranberry Juice and Kidney Stones: What the Research Says
If you’ve ever had a kidney stone, you know how painful and uncomfortable it can be. It’s no surprise that many people are looking for natural remedies to help reduce the risk of getting kidney stones. One remedy that is often touted as being effective against kidney stones is drinking cranberry juice. But does the research back up this claim? Let’s take a closer look at what science says is cranberry juice good for kidney stones.
What Are Kidney Stones?
Before we dive into the research, let’s first define what exactly kidney stones are. Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and salts that form in your kidneys over time. They can range in size from tiny grains of sand to large pebbles, and they can cause severe pain when they pass through your urinary tract during urination. The most common type of kidney stone is composed of calcium oxalate, which makes up around 80 percent of all cases.
How Cranberry Juice Can Help?
The theory behind why cranberry juice might help with kidney stones goes like this: Cranberries contain compounds known as proanthocyanidins (PACs), which have been shown to reduce the amount of calcium in urine and increase its acidity, making it less likely that calcium oxalate crystals will form into larger stones. This means that by drinking cranberry juice, you may be able to reduce your risk of developing new stones or having existing ones grow larger.
Does The Research Support This Theory?
So far, there is mixed evidence on whether cranberry juice helps prevent or reduce the size of existing kidney stones. On one hand, some studies have found that drinking unsweetened cranberry juice on a regular basis did result in lower amounts of calcium oxalate in participants’ urine samples compared to those who did not drink it regularly.
On the other hand, other studies found no such benefit from drinking cranberry juice. There also appears to be no consensus on how much cranberry juice needs to be consumed in order for it to be effective against kidney stones—some studies suggest only small amounts are necessary while others suggest larger amounts may be required for best results.
In a Nutshell
Overall, there is still not enough evidence to definitively conclude whether or not cranberry juice can effectively help prevent or reduce the size of existing kidney stones in humans. While some studies have had promising results, more research needs to be done before any clear conclusions can be made about its efficacy against this condition. That said, if you do choose to try out drinking cranberry juice as part of your regimen for preventing or reducing existing kidney stone size, make sure it’s unsweetened because sugar could potentially worsen your symptoms rather than improve them!