July 27, 2009

Supplement helps avoid some kidney stones

Children on a high fat diet to stem seizures may ward off kidney stones with a supplement, U.S. doctors said.

The study, published in Pediatrics, looked at 301 children being treated for seizures with the ketogenic diet at Baltimore's John Hopkins Children's Center. It found children receiving the supplement potassium citrate were seven times less likely than others to develop kidney stones.

Senior investigator Dr. Eric Kossoff said the ketogenic diet given many children whose seizures are not responding to medication seems to initiate biochemical changes that eliminate seizure-triggering short circuits in the brain's signaling system.

However, the low-carbohydrate diet causes a buildup of calcium in the urine and about 6 percent of those on it form kidney stones, he said.

We can confidently say this is a safe and powerful way to prevent kidney stones, and it should become part of standard therapy in all ketogenic dieters, not just those who already show elevated urine calcium levels, Kossoff said in a statement. If you wait, it might be too late.