Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cut your risk of kidney stones down to (almost) nothing—no prescription required

By Dr. Jonathan Wright

I’m no longer amazed by the advice given today by “mainstream” medical doctors on preventing the most common type of kidney stones (the calcium oxalate variety)––but I am still disappointed. Some doctors say to cut back on dietary and supplemental calcium, even more counsel their patients to reduce calcium and salt and to drink lots more water. A few even give prescriptions for diuretics. None of this is necessary (or helpful for that matter). Yet the mainstream seems to be turning a blind eye to methods clearly proven to help.

In 1974, two Harvard researchers found that magnesium oxide (300 milligrams daily) and vitamin B6 (10 milligrams daily) could reduce the risk of recurrent calcium oxalate stones by 92.3 percent. Their research was published in the Journal of Urology.

Harvard? Journal of Urology? What more could a urologist ask for when it comes to research? I gave copies of the article to individuals I worked with to give to their urologists, but nothing changed. The recommendations for low calcium diets just kept on coming.

In 1991, the British Journal of Urology published another prevention study. During a five-year investigation, researchers determined that the use of 10 grams (less than 1 tablespoon) of rice bran twice daily after meals reduced new calcium oxalate kidney stone formation by 83.4 percent.2 To this day, not one person I’ve asked has been told by his or her urologist about this harmless treatment.

As I said earlier, this just doesn’t surprise me anymore. After all, it took the physicians at the British Admiralty over 150 years to implement one of the earliest successful scientific experiments concerning the beneficial effects of nutrition on illness—the prevention of scurvy with citrus fruit. And it took 19th century medicine more than 50 years to eliminate “childbirth fever” by simply having physicians wash their hands. Modern medicine still hasn’t learned that good nutrition can prevent nearly 100 percent of toxemia of pregnancy. I could go on, but you get the idea.

But back to kidney stones: The same amounts of magnesium and vitamin B6 found effective in preventing calcium oxalate kidney stones back in 1974 can be found in many high-quality multiple vitamin-mineral formulations today. To get enough magnesium and vitamin B6 from a “muliple,” be sure to take the four to six capsules daily that are usually called for by the labels of these products. Add 2 or 3 teaspoons of rice bran twice daily, and your chances of a calcium oxalate kidney stone recurrence are close to zero.

Get more alternative remedies in Dr. Jonathan Wright's Nutrition and Healing.

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