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Wine and beer consumption is associated with strongly reduced risk for kidney stones in women
A study of the relationship between 17 different beverages and the risk of contracting symptomatic kidney stones has been analysed in a cohort of women in the USA.

81,093 women between the ages of 40 - 65, who reported no incidence of kidney stones when the study commenced in 1986, participated in the Nurses' Health Study.Their average use of 131 specified foods and beverages in 1985 and again in 1990 was recorded. Daily intakes of nutrients, fluid and calcium were then calculated from the data, and adjustments made for risk factors other than fluid intake.

719 cases of kidney stones were documented over the 8 year follow up. It was found that all liquids, including coffee and alcohol, decreased the risk for stone formation by the following percentage per 240ml serving consumed daily: 10% for coffee, 8% for tea and by 59% for wine. In contrast, each serving of grapefruit juice increased the risk of stone formation by 44%.

The study concluded that an increase in total fluid intake can reduce the risk for kidney stones, and the choice of beverage may be important. Alcohol inhibits secretion of antidiuretic hormone, leading to increased urine flow and hence stronger dilution helping kidney stone sufferers as well as acting as a preventative.These results may not necessarily apply only to women.

Source: Curham GC et al 'Beverage use and risk for kidney stones in Women' Ann Intern Med 128 1988.

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