Q:

How do olive oil and lemon juice affect kidney stones?

A:

Quick Answer

Lemon juice, or lemonade, contains natural citrate, which helps inhibit the production of kidney stones, reports WebMD. Olive oil is used as an alternative therapy for gallstones, but there is an absence of evidence that olive oil successfully treats gallstones, states Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Potassium citrate is the most common medication used to treat kidney stones, since it provides enough citrate to break up the salts that create the stones, according to WebMD. People looking for natural alternatives to taking medications often turn to lemon juice or unsweetened lemonade. Lemon juice may not work as well as potassium citrate, but it is effective enough that evidence convinces people to try it.

Passing large amounts of urine can reduce kidney stones, states WebMD. Consuming lemon juice or lightly sweetened lemonade increases fluid intake and the amount of citrate in the body, which can both reduce kidney stones. Lemon juice cannot treat kidney stones alone. Modifying the diet by decreasing salt consumption and using a potassium-based salt substitute can decrease salt buildup in the urine. Additional diet suggestions include eating less meat and fish at each meal, eating out of the home less often and avoiding the temptation to salt food before tasting it.

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