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What Protects the Heart May Also Ward Off Kidney Stones
Date:5/17/2011

ation was found with consumption of vegetables, calcium or vitamin C.
  • Higher levels of antioxidants in the body may lead to a lower risk of stone formation. Researchers from the University of Iowa found that alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin -- antioxidants found in legumes, nuts and grains -- were linked with lower numbers of kidney stones among 17,695 survey participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III).
  • Statins, typically used to treat high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, were linked with a 50 percent reduction in stone disease among men and a 70 percent reduction among women, according to researchers. Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, analyzed 57,320 patient records from a 10-year review of the Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application database, finding high cholesterol was linked with kidney stone formation and statins greatly lowered the risk.
  • "This has never been demonstrated before -- it's completely novel," said Dr. Roger Sur, author of the statin study and now director of the Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center at the University of California, San Diego. "It's a retrospective study, and it needs more rigorous prospective data. But it's certainly exciting information we hope to take forward."

    With the link between lifestyle factors, heart disease and kidney stones so apparent, Stoller said, those who develop stones might want to consider if they are developing heart disease as well.

    "If you have a stone, it could be looked upon as a canary in a mine shaft. You could be at risk for heart disease," he said. "We give our patients with stones three global recommendations: lower their salt intake, lower animal protein intake and get adequate fluid intake. That is [also] a cardiac-healthy diet."

    Dr. Michael A. Palese, an associate professor of urology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, said the new studies a
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