AUA 2018: Can Coconut Water Consumption Potentially Prevent Kidney Stones?

San Francisco, CA USA ( Dr. Roshan Patel, clinical endourologist from the University of California, Irvine, presented his data on the potential anti-lithogenic effects of coconut water on urinary samples. Dr. Patel and his team of researchers wanted to determine if the consumption of coconut water could alter urinary factors that are known to cause risk of stone disease in stone forming patients. They performed the study on 8 adults (4 males and 4 females) with no prior history of nephrolithiasis. To carry out this research, the experimenters randomized participants into either the coconut water phase or the tap water phase of the study. Participants were instructed to consume 2 liters a day of either tap water or Taste of Nirvana pure coconut water for 4 days total. It is important to note that patients were asked to keep a food and fluid intake log during the first phase of the study, and replicate that same diet during the second phase of the study. Participants were also not restricted from drinking any other beverages. On the third and fourth day of each phase, participants were instructed to collect 2 24-hour urine collections that were sent to the Litholink Corporation in Chicago, IL for processing.

Urinary analysis revealed that compared to tap water, coconut water consumption increased urinary citrate by 29%, urinary potassium by 130%, and urinary chloride by 37%, without significantly affecting urine volume or urine pH. An analysis performed of coconut water found that although it contains low levels of citrate, it contains high levels of total alkali (13.8 mEq/L). Despite relatively low citrate content (2.1 mmol/L), coconut water revealed a significant increase in urinary citrate excretion from baseline. This is likely due to the very high total alkali load, which their team believes is mainly a function of the high pH and malate content of coconut water.

Compared to other beverages associated with anti-lithogenic effects such as lemonade and dietary sodas, coconut water is lower in both sugar content and calories. Dr. Patel discussed his team’s future plans to further test the anti-lithogenic effects of coconut water in patients with hypocitraturia and a history of nephrolithiasis.

Presented by Roshan Patel, MD

Written by: Taylor Capretz, Department of Urology, University of California-Irvine at the 2018 AUA Annual Meeting - May 18 - 21, 2018 – San Francisco, CA USA
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