Kidney Stones and Cranberry Juice

cranberry-juiceCranberry juice is often recommended to prevent (and even to help treat) urinary tract infections. If it is good for kidney infections, is cranberry juice also recommended to prevent or treat kidney stones?

The short answer is no, cranberry juice should not be your first choice of beverage if you are susceptible to kidney stones. Although cranberry juice may provide some protection against brushite stones, a fairly rare type of kidney stone, it increases the chances of forming calcium oxalate stones, the most common type of kidney stone. (Source: Journal of Urology, August 2005)

Cranberry juice increased the amount of oxalate in the urine, without the potentially protective effect of increasing urinary citrate, as orange juice has been shown to do.

Water is the best beverage for anyone who wishes to prevent kidney stones (or is trying to pass a stone). If you want to drink juice, most people who are susceptible to kidney stones may benefit from drinking orange or lemon juices; however, cranberry juice should be drunk in moderation, if at all.