Coffee Consumption and Kidney Stones
That is surely a troubling thought.
You enjoy drinking your morning cup. But, you can’t help but imagine getting kidney stones from drinking coffee.
You read blogs and articles proving that coffee is not good for your kidneys. You have been religiously drinking the right dose of coffee (4-5 cups in a day).
But you decide to become the devil’s advocate and lean on the worst side. What if coffee does cause kidney stones?
Questions are good. They drive you to find answers and that is why you are here.
This post will not give you solutions but it will help you be empowered. You will learn and understand the relationship between kidney stones and coffee. You will also get to know what the researchers are saying.
Let’s dig right into it.
Coffee and Kidney Stone relation
Coffee is a popular stimulant that gets global acclaim more than any other beverage. It contains caffeine which varies depending on the brewing and preparation method. It also depends on the type of beans or their origin.
Coffee is a more preferable beverage with 89% of adult Americans giving it a thumbs up. But, there are other notable sources of caffeine. This appeals to different age groups with adults consuming more caffeine through coffee. Tea, chocolate, sodas, and energy drinks are the other sources of caffeine.
Before you know it, coffee is absorbed into your bloodstream flowing to other body tissues. More than 90% of coffee gets metabolized while the rest finds its way into waste.
Now let’s highlight the kidney.
These bean-shaped organs perform a vital role in regulating water and cell fluids. It also eliminates waste. The byproducts of the metabolism process end up excreted as urine.
There are five types of kidney stones. Here are their highlights:
● Calcium Oxalate
This is the most common kind of stone. It results when urine contains high levels of calcium and uric acid. Whilst exhibiting low levels of citrate. Often linked to oxalate-filled foods like nuts, spinach, beets, and potatoes.
● Calcium phosphate stones
It is linked with the functionality of the urinary system. The stones most often grow larger than the calcium oxalate. Problems with how the system functions are the main contributing factor.
● Struvite stones
These stones are common in women and result from an infection in the urinary tract. The stones tend to grow so big ending up taking over the kidney space.
● Uric acid
These stones occur when you fail to drink enough water. It may also be resultant of consuming diets loaded with animal protein. It is also linked to gout, family history, and men.
● Cystine stones
They are often caused by genetic disorders. This leads to an excessive amount of amino acids collected in the urine.
So does coffee cause kidney stones?
Coffee contains compounds that have varying effects on the body. Here are the characteristics of coffee in your body.
Coffee as a Natural Diuretic
Components found in coffee contain elements that place caffeine as a diuretic. Caffeine causes stimulation of cardiovascular activity resulting in increased blood flow. This results in the kidney increasing its functionality of cleaning the blood and body cells. This leads to more extraction of urine.
Drinking 3-4 cups should cause the diuretic effect. Doctors will prescribe drinking lots of water and fluid to clear the concentrated urine.
But, you will need to alternate between coffee and water consumption.
Coffee and Adenosine
Caffeine acts as an interceptor between Adenosine and its receptors. Its design and nature make it act as an Adenosine interceptor. This eventually limits the functionality of the Adenosine.
This mechanism leads to a competitive atmosphere between Adenosine and caffeine. As a result, caffeine’s effects on the kidney are limited.
Coffee as a natriuretic
Ideally, caffeine contains properties that lead to increased excretion of certain solutes. This includes sodium, chloride, calcium, phosphate, and magnesium. Caffeine boosts the efforts of the kidney in regulating the balance between sodium and water. The components of caffeine ensure that sodium and water are not sucked back to the kidney.
Researches on kidney stones and caffeine
The discovery of how caffeine impacts kidney stones continues. As the popularity of coffee consumption grows, so do new ways emerge on its benefits and effects.
The recommended treatment mechanism for kidney stones is constant hydration. Coffee, especially black contains more than 90% water. This dilutes the concentration of elements leading to stone formation.
In the late ’90s, a group of health professionals examined a group of more than 45 thousand men. These men did not show any signs of kidney stones in the past. The findings showed that not all beverages result in decreased risk of kidney stones.
It was established that consumption of caffeinated beverages led to a reduced risk of kidney stones by 10%.
Another research was done in 1998 by a Nurses’ Health Study. Out of the 81,083 female participants, it was established that caffeine lowers the risk of kidney stones by 10%.
However, studies on the effect of various beverages and their effect on women were not provided.
Another study was conducted to learn whether caffeine increased calcium oxalate stone formation. Coffee contains high levels of oxalate and kidney stones often occur as a result of the prevalence of oxalate in the diet.
Out of the 39 participants, 32 had marginally increased their urinary calcium oxalate saturation. The Tiselius stone risk index for calcium oxalate had increased slightly. The study showed increased excretion of calcium, magnesium, sodium, citrate, and not oxalate in the urine.
In another study done more recently. The participants in this one were 194,095 and the research was conducted for 8 years.
It was established that sweetened caffeine beverages increased the risk of kidney stone formation. Of those consumers of caffeinated coffee sampled 26% experienced a reduced risk of kidney stones.
In 2014, a larger experiment was done. In 3 cohorts, the health professional’s follow-up study and the Nurses’ Health Studies aimed to study coffee intake and incidence of kidney stones.
The results showed that caffeine beverages lowered the risk of kidney stones. Even though caffeine results in increased urine calcium excretion, consumers had a 26% lower risk of having nephrolithiasis.
I think it is important to indicate that this study was done recently with follow-up in 8 years. There were more than 200,000.
Can coffee cause kidney stones?
As we have established, coffee is loved and adored by many globally. It continues to gather interest from researchers and scientists.
As suggested by the evidence, coffee consumption does not lead to kidney stones.
Imagine yourself enjoying the tantalizing cup of your morning coffee in peace. No worry about damaging your kidneys
This is because now you are enlightened. You have a better understanding of coffee and kidney stones. Not only are you consuming coffee with confidence, but you are now educating those around you.
You have created your path. You are now free from fear. A whole life of drinking coffee awaits you without worrying about getting kidney stones.