Kidney stones are a common occurrence, affecting about 1 in every 11 people in the United States. And while there are a number of different factors that can contribute to the formation of kidney stones, diet plays a role.
In fact, studies have shown that those who consume a plant-based diet are at a lower risk for developing kidney stones than those who don’t. So, what is it about a vegan diet that helps protect against kidney stones? Let’s take a look at the conection between Vegan diet and kidney stones.
Things to know about vegan diets
Vegan diets are typically high in fiber, low in fat, and contain little to no animal protein. All of these factors have been linked with a reduced risk of kidney stones.
Fiber helps keep the body’s digestive system clean and functioning properly, which reduces the likelihood of waste products building up and crystallizing into stones.
Animal protein is thought to increase the production of oxalate, which is a compound that can lead to the formation of kidney stones. And fats can promote inflammation, which has also been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones.
The basics of a vegan diet
A vegan diet is one that does not include any animal products, including meat, dairy, and eggs. While veganism is often associated with health benefits, there is some evidence to suggest that it may also increase the risk of developing kidney stones.
- Kidney stones are small, hard deposits that form in the kidneys when certain substances become concentrated in the urine. A vegan diet can sometimes lead to problems with calcium absorption, which can in turn cause an accumulation of calcium in the urine and an increased risk of kidney stones.
- Additionally, a vegan diet may also alter the balance of other minerals in the body, which can also contribute to kidney stone formation. While the exact link between veganism and kidney stones is not yet clear, it is important for vegans to be aware of this potential complication and to speak with a doctor if they develop any symptoms of kidney stones.
So, if you’re thinking of going vegan, or are already following a vegan diet, be sure to stay hydrated and speak with a doctor if you develop the symptoms.
A plant-based diet offers a number of benefits, one of which may be protection against kidney stones. If you’re looking to reduce your risk of developing kidney stones, talk to your doctor or dietitian about incorporating more plants into your meals and snacks.