Los kidney stones –popularly known as kidney stones– are the main cause of renal colic, which manifests as intense pain that begins in the lower back and extends to the iliac fossa, groin and genitals, and is usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever, and blood in the urine. Risk factors that are known to contribute to the development of kidney stones are obesity, chronic diarrhea, dehydration, and having inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, or gout.
Now, a new study has found that a high consumption of added sugars may increase the risk of kidney stones. This finding is important because many processed foods contain added sugars, but they are also present in other common items in many people’s diets such as soft drinks, fruit drinks, or sugar-sweetened cookies, cakes, rusks, or ice cream.
“Ours is the first study to report an association between added sugar consumption and kidney stones,” said lead author Dr. Shan Yin, a researcher at North Sichuan Medical College Affiliated Hospital, Nanchong, China, which adds: “Suggests that limiting the intake of added sugar may help prevent the formation of kidney stones”. The results have been published in Frontiers in Nutrition.
Positive association between added sugars and kidney stones
The researchers analyzed data from 28,303 adult women and men, which had been collected between 2007 and 2018 for the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). These individuals had indicated whether they had a history of kidney stones, and the daily intake of added sugars for each was estimated from their recall of their most recent consumption of food and drink, on two occasions: once during a face-to-face interview and another in a telephone interview between three and 10 days later. For example, participants were asked if they had ingested syrups, Honey, dextrose, fructose o pure sugar during the last 24 hours.
Participants who got more than 25% of their total energy from added sugars were 88% more likely to develop kidney stones
Each participant was also assigned a Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2015) score, which summarizes their diet in terms of the adequacy of beneficial components of their diet, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and food limitation. potentially harmful foods, such as refined grains, sodium, and saturated fat.
The researchers adjusted the odds of developing kidney stones per year during the trial for a variety of risk factors, including gender, age, race/ethnicity, income, body mass index, HEI-2015 score, smoking and a history of diabetes.
At the start of the study, participants with higher added sugar consumption tended to have a higher current prevalence of kidney stones, a lower HEI score, and a lower educational level. The global average intake of added sugars was 272.1 calories per daywhich corresponds to 13.2% of the total daily energy intake.
The researchers found that, after adjusting for these factors, the percentage of energy intake from added sugars was consistently positively correlated with kidney stones. For example, participants whose intake of added sugars was in the top 25% of the population were 39% more likely to develop kidney stones over the course of the study. Furthermore, those who got more than 25% of their total energy from added sugars were 88% more likely to suffer from this health problem than those who got less than 5% of their total energy from added sugars.
This is an observational study and Yin has cautioned that “further studies are needed to explore in detail the association between added sugar and various diseases or pathological conditions”. “For example, what types of kidney stones are most associated with added sugar intake? how much do we owe reduce our consumption of added sugars to reduce the risk of kidney stone formation? However, our findings already offer valuable information for decision makers.”