Best Supplements For Kidney Stones
Best Supplements For Kidney Stones
Having had two kidney stones myself, I know the immense pain that comes with them and after the doctors gave me some vague diet guidelines to help avoid them in the future, I decided to dig deeper into what I could do to more actively prevent going through that again.
Some dietary changes did help a bit, primarily drinking more regular water, but it wasn't until I started increasing my citrate, potassium, magnesium and B vitamins that I stopped having them, thankfully going on 12 years since the last one.
These are the primary supplements that can help prevent kidney stones:
- Citric Acid
- Vitamin B6
Our Top Pick For Potassium And Citric Acid
Citric acid is found in citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges and helps to dissolve stones while potassium helps to regulate the pH levels in the urine and prevent the formation of stones
Potassium citrate has both and Horbäach offers a quality potassium citrate supplement that is well absorbed, has no GMO ingredients and gluten free capsules, all at a very good price per serving.
Also, it's free of wheat, yeast, milk, lactose, soy, artificial color & flavoring.
Our Top Pick For Magnesium
Magnesium helps to regulate the balance of minerals in the urine and helps to prevent the formation of kidney stones.
There's at least 11 types of bioavailable magnesium and most have different effects on the body (one of them is a laxative, so unless that's what you want, it's important to know which types to take)
MagTech's Magnesium supplement goes above and beyond most magnesium supplements, containing the best stack of magnesium types in a single supplement that I've seen.
Offering high quality, absorbable, 3rd-party lab tested ingredients, you're getting a blend of:
- L-Thereonate (helps with memory and overall brain function)
- L-Glycinate (helps with relaxation and sleep and is also the most absorbable form of magnesium)
- L-Taurate (helps with muscle cramps, recovery after exercise and more effective at helping regulate heart rhythm)
This is combination of magnesium types has health benefits above and beyond just helping with kidney stones and is well worth paying a bit more for.
Our Top Pick Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 helps to reduce the levels of oxalates in the urine, which can contribute to the formation of stones.
Solgar is a quality brand for most supplements and this vitamin B complex gives you a daily dose or more of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12; as well as some choline.
The reason I chose a B-complex over a B6 only supplement is that this B-complex costs only about 25% more than a B6 only option, provides the same amount of B6 and most people don't get enough of the other B vitamins or choline, so you might as well pay a little more to ensure you're getting the full spectrum of primary B vitamins.
The Solgar B-complex is made from a vegan-friendly, non-GMO, kosher & gluten free capsule and is also free wheat, dairy, soy, yeast, sugar, sodium or any artificial flavors or sweeteners.
If you're on a budget though, go with the Solgar B6 only option I've put below.
Our Budget Pick Vitamin B6
If you don't need the extra vitamins in the B-Complex above and want to save some money then go for the B6 only supplement from Solgar.
100mg is around 6000% of the daily recommended dose but keep in mind that your body doesn't actually absorb all of that which is why they put in a high dose.
And as B vitamins are water-soluble, your body will simply urinate out any excess it does absorb.
Our Non-Pill Pick For Vitamin B6
Don't like taking pills? Still want to get all your B vitamins as well as some potassium in a tasty, versatile way?
Nutritional yeast is a great option. It cover all the main B vitamins, including B6 as well as some potassium, fiber and a nice 8g of plant protein per serving.
Bot's Red Mill nutritional yeast is what I personally use in some of my more savory health shakes as it has a pleasant, cheese-like taste.
This makes it a great ingredient to add to anything where you want a cheese flavor and many vegans use it specifically for that.
Use it as a sprinkled on topping on popcorn, add it to any recipe that includes cheese or a cheese substitute or make a nice dipping sauce with it.
Our Top Pick Soluble Fiber Supplement
Fiber helps to flush out toxins and waste products from the body, reducing the risk of kidney stones.
Acacia Senegal is the best all around soluble fiber supplement you can get and Heather's Tummy Fiber is, based on price, quality, and product features, our top pick for soluble fiber.
Heather's is 100% organic Acacia Senegal fiber, so it's tasteless, odorless, and colorless. It won't change the taste, smell, or noticeably thicken any liquids you mix it with.
This makes it easy to take with a protein shake, smoothie, mixed into fruit juice or even just a glass of water.
Causes of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are formed when the substances in the urine become highly concentrated. This can occur due to a variety of reasons, including dehydration, a high-salt diet, and a family history of kidney stones. Other factors that may contribute to the formation of kidney stones include obesity, gout, and certain medical conditions such as Crohn's disease and urinary tract infections.
Dietary Changes That Can Help
Increase fluid intake: Drink plenty of water, aiming for at least 2 to 3 liters (68 to 102 ounces) of fluids per day, to help flush out waste and prevent stones from forming.
Reduce salt intake: High sodium consumption can lead to an increase in calcium in the urine, which can increase the risk of developing kidney stones. Keep in mind though that adequate sodium intake daily is essential for your body to function properly. You don't want to consume too much sodium but recent research has shown that some of the very low sodium intake guidelines for people with high blood pressure and heart disease might actually do more harm than good. It's best to talk to your doctor about this and see what works for you by testing your blood pressure at home a couple of hours after consuming different amounts of sodium (within reason)
Limit animal protein: Consuming too much animal protein, such as red meat, poultry, and fish, can increase the amount of waste products in the urine that can lead to stone formation. This may or may not be helpful, it depends on what the composition of your kidney stones are. If you can, see if you can have an analysis of one of your stones done. Knowing what the stones are made up of will help you pinpoint the root cause of them.
Reduce sugar intake: Consuming sugary drinks and foods can lead to an increase in urine calcium, which can raise the risk of kidney stones. This is good advice in general as chronic consumption of excess carbs, especially refined carbs, is the main cause of a lot of many diseases.
Increase calcium-rich foods: Eating calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products and leafy greens, can help reduce the amount of oxalate in the urine, which is a common component of kidney stones. Don't confuse consuming calcium rich foods with taking calcium supplements. The calcium in virtually all calcium supplements can actually cause kidney stones and even increase calcification of arteries. Stick with getting your calcium from real food.'
Limit foods high in oxalates: Some foods, such as spinach, beets, nuts, chocolate, and tea, are high in oxalates, which can increase the risk of developing kidney stones.
Consider cutting back on Vitamin C: Vitamin C can increase the amount of oxalate in the urine, so you may need to limit your intake of Vitamin C-rich foods if you have a history of kidney stones. Vitamin C is a great antioxidant but too much can have various negative effects, this is true of anything you put in your body. Balance is the key.