Researchers in the US have claimed that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables could help protect against kidney stones.
A study found that a special diet to prevent hypertension involving a high intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, dairy products and whole grains, and low consumption of sweetened drinks and red and processed meats also reduces kidney stone risks.
The findings, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, reveal that the so-called Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) cut the risk of having a stone by increasing the citrate content in the urine.
The study of urine samples from 3,426 people with and without a history of kidney stones found that DASH consumers excreted more urine than those who did not follow the diet, despite similar fluid intake.
Urine of people following a DASH-style diet contained a higher concentration of citrate - an important inhibitor of calcium stones, which are the most common type of kidney stone - than the urine of others, according to the study led by Dr Eric Taylor of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Maine Medical Centre.
Experts also suggested that there may be other, possibly unidentified, kidney stone inhibitors in dairy products and plants, which block the recurrence of stones in sufferers.
Kidney stones, which are hard lumps of crystal formed by the waste products in the kidneys, are quite common and can cause severe pain.