There is a huge myth that kidney stones are caused by mineral water. On the contrary, it can be prevented by drinking mineral water. Read on to know all about the real connection between mineral water and formation of stones in the kidney…
Kidney stones, also called as nephrolith or renal calculus, is a painful condition where there are calcium deposits in the kidney. These deposits vary in their size and shape. This condition can be spurred on by a number of factors, like electrolyte imbalance, hormonal imbalance, excess of calcium in the body, etc. There are many ways of dealing with and preventing the formation of these stones. One such way is by drinking a lot of water. This is because by drinking water, there is more urine formation and thus, there are higher chances of these renal calculi getting flushed out. However, to derive maximum benefit of drinking water, one should drink mineral water. Although the contrary belief is more common, kidney stones can actually be prevented by drinking mineral water. Given below are details regarding the composition of mineral water and how drinking it helps in passing kidney stones.
What is Mineral Water?
Mineral water is water that is either artificially treated with minerals or naturally contains minerals. Some forms are carbonated as well. To decide whether the water is mineral water or not, a person is supposed to evaporate a liter of water. Mineral water normally contains more than one trace mineral in either greater or lesser values. It also contains many other substances that separate it from ordinary tap water. These elements primarily include calcium, magnesium, sulfate and iron. Besides these four minerals, this water also contains sodium, zinc, potassium and chloride.
Does Mineral Water Lead to Kidney Stones?
Many people have the misconception that kidney stones are caused by, or are aggravated by, drinking too much mineral water. These renal calculi are made up of minerals, and mostly contain calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate. However, it is not true that they are caused due to mineral water. These nephroliths primarily contain calcium, which is found in relatively trace amounts in mineral water.
Furthermore, researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany investigated mineral water health benefits in terms of reducing the risk of formation of kidney stones in the body. The results of this small clinical trial were published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that the magnesium and calcium content in mineral water improved urinary pH output as well as oxalate excretion, two important factors that reduce the risk of developing calcium oxalate stones in the kidney. Another study that was conducted in South Africa found that mineral water containing calcium and magnesium deserves to be considered as a possible therapeutic or prophylactic agent in calcium oxalate kidney stone disease. Thus, drinking mineral water actually minimized the risk of formation or growth of renal calculi in these subjects.
Also, potassium, like magnesium, is essential for the proper utilization of calcium (which is the main element present in kidney stones). So, potassium deficiency may lead to an increased risk of developing not only nephroliths, but also high blood pressure, as well as compromised bone density due to increased amounts of calcium being eliminated through the urine.
When a person is asked to follow a kidney stones diet, he is encouraged to increase his intake of potassium and magnesium in the diet, as these compete with calcium for absorption. Thus, the presence of magnesium and potassium decreases the chances of formation of calcium and uric acid crystals in the body, thus, preventing stone formation.
This was all about the prevention of kidney stones by drinking mineral water. Renal calculus treatment consists of trying out conservative methods like drinking mineral water and making certain lifestyle changes, before going on to more invasive methods like surgery.