Diet sodas prevent kidney stones

Soda, which has been demonized in the public health debate for everything from containing too much sugar to containing artificial sweeteners rumored to cause cancer, recently received an unexpected public image boost. Dr. Brian Eisner told a meeting of the American Urological Association, that some popular diet sodas may help prevent the formation of kidney stones.

Medpage Today, a medical newsletter, reported late last month that Dr. Eisner found that some sodas contain relatively high amounts of the alkalis citrate and malate, which help counter the formation of kidney stones. Fruit-flavored sodas had the most alkalis, with Diet Sunkist and Diet 7 Up ranking the highest, while cola flavored beverages had the least.

“This study suggests that people with stone disease who do not drink soda may benefit from moderate consumption,” said AUA spokesperson Anthony Y Smith.

Sugar-sweetened beverages may also offer the same benefits since they contain the same alkalis. But, Dr Eisner said, the study focused on diet sodas “because we wanted to be able to recommend something that was healthier for our patients.”