Drinking water helps prevent kidney stones

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Glass of water from Shutterstock
Glass of water from Shutterstock

Drinking plenty of water will lower your risk of kidney stones, researchers report.

Improved hydration

"This analysis shows that drinking water is an effective way to cut one's risk for developing kidney stones in half," Kerry Willis, chief scientific officer at the National Kidney Foundation, said in a foundation news release.

"Kidney stones cause significant discomfort and cost, along with a potential to contribute to the development of kidney disease, so confirmation of reducing risk through improved hydration is an important finding," Willis added.

The current research looked at nine previous studies that included nearly 274,000 people. More than 550 people had a history of kidney stones.

Read: The lowdown on kidney stones

The review found that people who produced 2 to 2.5 litres of urine were 50 percent less likely to form kidney stones than those who produced less urine. That amount of urine production is associated with drinking about eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water a day, according to the researchers.

Drinking lots of water keeps urine less concentrated with waste products. Frequent urination means that stone-causing minerals have less opportunity to settle and bond in the kidneys and urinary tract, the researchers explained.

The study was presented at a National Kidney Foundation meeting in Dallas.

"Increased fluid intake had long been suggested as a simple strategy for preventing kidney stones. This large meta-analysis provides further support for this intervention to reduce the risk of kidney stones," Dr. Wisit Cheungpasitporn, of the Mayo Clinic, said in a foundation news release.

About one in 10 people in the United States develops kidney stones, the kidney foundation reported.

Read more:

Avoiding kidney stones

Kidney stones increasing in women

14 FAQ on diet and kidney stones

Image: Glass of water from Shutterstock

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