Can supplements nix kidney stones? | Science News


Support Science Journalism

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


Can supplements nix kidney stones?

9:31am, June 7, 2006

From Orlando, Fla., at the American Society for Microbiology meeting

Certain bacteria seem to degrade the compound that forms kidney stones. However, the vast majority of commercially available probiotic supplements, which contain a variety of bacteria strains, don't appear to have this effect, according to new research.

During their lifetimes, about 5 percent of adults will get at least one kidney stone—a crystallized mass often made of calcium and a substance called oxalate. The most common method to prevent new kidney stones is to modify a patient's diet so that it includes less oxalate, which comes from plants such as green leafy vegetables.

Studies in the past few decades have suggested that some bacteria that normally live in the intestines can degrade oxalate, says microbiologist Steven Daniel of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. He suspected that by eating these strains, a person who has had a kidney stone can decrease his or her ch

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content