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Some Diet Sodas May Ward Off Kidney Stones
Date:4/29/2009

Other research finds that pomegranate juice could slow prostate cancer

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking diet sodas, especially those with a citrus flavor, might help ward off painful calcium deposits known as kidney stones.

The drinks contain citrate, which is known to inhibit calcium formation, according to the authors of a study that was to be presented Sunday at the American Urological Association annual meeting, in Chicago.

And there's more good news in the drinks department: A second study being presented at the same meeting found that pomegranate juice might slow the progression of prostate cancer.

Some 10 percent of people in the United States will form these calcium deposits, known as kidney stones, at some point in their lives. In as many as a third of the cases, it's because they do not urinate enough citrate, said study author Dr. Brian Eisner, a clinical fellow in urology at the University of California San Francisco and an instructor in urology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, in Boston.

Potassium citrate and other pills can help alleviate the problem, as can a special lemonade drink (rich in citric acid) concocted by one of Eisner's co-authors a decade or so ago.

But this study extended the idea to see how much citrate was contained in 15 commonly consumed diet sodas. The authors did not look at regular sodas because of the potentially unhealthy sugar content.

"They're measuring certain ingredients in diet sodas which are known to have an activity against kidney stones," said Dr. Patrick Lowry, an assistant professor of surgery at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and section head of laparoscopy and endourology at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple.

Eight of the soda types had as much as or more citrate than the original lemonade formula. The highest performers were Diet Sunkist Orange,
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