Answer:

Yes, lemon juice can help reduce the risk of kidney stones. However, research suggests that other beverages, or supplements, may be preferable. Be aware that cranberry juice (promoted to help with urinary tract infections) contains moderately high levels of oxalates, which may increase the risk of kidney stones. Sign in for the details >>

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4 Comments

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G20279
July 1, 2020

i’ve read that when pairing calcium or magnesium with high oxalate foods, either will bind with oxalates to reduce problematic effects. is that true? will adding cheese to a spinach salad help keep the oxalates from forming kidney stones? will adding lemon juice to the mix help even more?

also, since watermelon is mostly water and oranges similarly have a high water content, how many cups of watermelon cubes or how many oranges would one need to eat to obtain the same effect as the amount of juice recommended above?

ConsumerLab.com
August 18, 2020

As mentioned in an earlier comment below, calcium supplements are generally not recommended, but you should still try to get adequate calcium from your diet, as this helps reduce oxalate in urine. Similarly, most magnesium supplements are not recommended for kidney stones, but you should still try to get adequate magnesium from your diet. Restricting intake of high oxalate foods, such as spinach, should be considered. Trying to counterbalance the effects of oxalates in spinach with other ingredients such as lemon or cheese is not recommended. In general, it takes about 10 oranges to make a liter of orange juice. Watermelon should not be used as a substitute, as it is not a good source of citrate.

Jeff19883
May 13, 2020

I've been adding fresh lemon juice to water since having a kidney stone, and increasing water intake, with no further stones for about 18 months. However I'm not clear what this article defines as lemon juice... is that pure lemon juice, or lemon juice + water? If the latter, in what proportions? Thank you.

ConsumerLab.com
May 14, 2020

In the answer above, lemon juice refers to the juice squeezed from a lemon that has not been diluted with water. The study cited (Haleblian 2008) found that to get 40 milliequivalents of citrate per day from a homemade lemon juice (4 ounces of concentrated lemon juice diluted with a little less than 2 pints of water and sweetened to taste) you would need to drink about 3.2 cups.

Brian A.11432
November 28, 2016

Lemon juice is working for me. Kidney stone free for 2 1/2 years after 2 straight years with a stone. Drank cranberry juice and took cranberry pills for 5 years before and feel
that at least was a contributor to getting them in the first place.

Symptoms of gout have been almost non-existent as well which is why I was drinking the cranberry juice to start with. I mix about 1 to 1 1/2 oz juice in with tang in the AM and water at supper.

I like the body PH lowering effects in concept as well.

Jack11429
November 27, 2016

So where does the taking of calcium citrate fit into this picture?

ConsumerLab.com
November 28, 2016

As kidney stones are partially composed of calcium, calcium supplements are generally not recommended. You should, however, try to get adequate calcium from your diet, as this helps reduce oxalate in urine, and oxalate is a component of kidney stones.

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