Want To Avoid Kidney Stones? Eat Less Meat

Kidney stones form in the kidneys. Pain occurs when stones move into ureters, thin tubes that allow urine to pass from kidneys to bladder.

This large, prospective, cohort study found that consumption of red meat and poultry increased risk of kidney stones, while fresh fruit decreased risk.

Diet And Risk Of Kidney Stones In The Oxford Cohort Of The European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer And Nutrition (EPIC), Nutritional Epidemilogy, 2014

In conclusion, compared to meat-eaters, vegetarians are at a lower risk of being hospitalised for kidney stones. Among meat-eaters, increasing meat intake is associated with a higher risk of developing kidney stones. Conversely, a high intake of fresh fruit, fibre and magnesium may reduce the risk.


There were no associations between dietary intake of sodium or calcium and kidney stone risk.


It has been proposed that metabolism of a high protein diet may result in an increased stone risk by producing an acid load that increases urinary calcium and oxalate levels and decreases levels of citrate (an inhibitor of calcium stone formation).

2 thoughts on “Want To Avoid Kidney Stones? Eat Less Meat

  1. Darryl

    I suspect the mechanism is ingestion of animal collagen and its unique modified amino acid hydroxyproline.

    Holmes et al, 2007. Origin of urinary oxalate. In Renal Stone Disease (Vol. 900, pp. 176-182).

    “A 10-fold differential in the amounts of glycolate and oxalate formed from hydroxyproline and glycine apparently occurs regardless of the subcellular compartmentation of the site of glyoxylate formation (mitochondria for hydroxyproline and peroxisome for glycine).

    The metabolism of hydroxyproline can potentially make an important contribution to oxalate synthesis as collagen turnover leads to the metabolism of 240 to 420 mg of hydroxyproline each day. Hydroxyproline may be also ingested either as collagen in meats and meat products or as gelatin. We have recently shown that the ingestion of gelatin leads to significant increases in urinary oxalate and glycolate excretion.”


    1. Bix Post author

      Gelatin! From Wikipedia:

      Probably best known as a gelling agent in cooking, different types and grades of gelatin are used in a wide range of food and nonfood products: common examples of foods that contain gelatin are gelatin desserts, trifles, aspic, marshmallows, candy corn, and confections such as Peeps, gummy bears, fruit snacks, and jelly babies. Gelatin may be used as a stabilizer, thickener, or texturizer in foods such as yogurt, cream cheese, and margarine; it is used, as well, in fat-reduced foods to simulate the mouthfeel of fat and to create volume.

      That’s a lot of foods. It makes it worth scanning the ingredient list.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s