Most people don’t give much thought to kidney stones until they get one. Kidney stones can be painful, expensive to treat, and likely to reoccur. Preventing them in the first place is the goal.

I recently wrote a review for Whole Foods Magazine on behalf of the International Probiotic Association titled:

A Role for Probiotics in Reducing Kidney Stones?

Because about 70 to 80% are calcium oxalate, created when calcium combines with oxalate in the urine, efforts to reduce oxalates in the diet (nuts, spinach, and other foods) can help. In addition, some intestinal bacteria can degrade dietary oxalate.

“One organism stands out for its stellar oxalate-degrading ability: Oxalobacter formigenes (O. formigenes). For example, under controlled conditions O. formigenesdegraded up to 98% of available oxalate and also promoted endogenous oxalate secretion by the gut mucosa.”

The intestinal microbiome has become a focus for novel therapies using probiotics to lessen kidney stone formation. Several studies have explored whether the administration of Oxalobacter or other probiotic preparations with oxalate-degrading abilities could result in the reduction of kidney stone risk. (Table 2)

Find out how this story ends, at Whole Foods Magazine online.