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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

Print version ISSN 0025-7680


NEGRI, Armando L.; SPIVACOW, Francisco R.  and  DEL VALLE, Elisa E.. Diet in the treatment of renal lithiasis: Pathophysiological basis. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2013, vol.73, n.3, pp.267-271. ISSN 0025-7680.

The composition of urine is influenced by diet and changes in dietary factors have been proposed to modify the risk of recurrent nephrolithiasis. Nutrients that have been implicated include calcium, oxalate, sodium, animal protein, magnesium and potassium. There is significant evidence showing that a high calcium diet is associated with a reduction of lithogenic risk. One of the possible mechanisms to explain this apparent paradox is that the higher intake of calcium in the intestine binds with dietary oxalate, reducing its absorption and urinary excretion. Oxalate from the diet seems to provide only a small contribution to excretion and dietary restriction is appropriate only in those with hyperoxaluria and hyperabsorption. Observational studies have shown a positive and independent association between sodium intake and the formation of new kidney stones. Consumption of animal protein creates an acid load that increases urinary excretion of calcium and uric acid and reduced citrate, all factors that could participate in the genesis of stones. Potassium-rich foods increase urinary citrate because of its alkali content. In prospective observational studies, diets rich in magnesium were associated with a lower risk of kidney stone formation in men. In conclusion, diet is a key element in the management of the patient with kidney stones but always subordinated to present metabolic risk factors.

Keywords : Kidney stones; Pathophysiology; Role of diet; Hyperoxaluria; Dietary calcium; Dietary sodium.

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