Kidney stone formers have a lower consumption of vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and alcoholic beverages compared with nonformers, and they are more likely to consume soft drinks, according to a Swiss study.

The findings are from a study that included 261 kidney stone formers in the Swiss Kidney Stone Cohort and a control group of 197 individuals without kidney stones as documented by computed tomography. Dietitians conducted 2 consecutive 24-hour dietary recall interviews with the participants, who described and quantified every food and beverage item consumed over the 48-hour recall period.

Overall, dietary intake was similar for stone formers and nonformers. Mean vegetable intake was lower among the stone formers, however. Among men, the mean intake of vegetables was 138 g/day for stone formers compared with 188 g/day for nonformers, Constance Legay, MD, PhD, of the University of Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland, and colleagues reported in the Journal of Renal Nutrition. Among women, the mean intake was 154 g/day for stone formers compared with 214 g/day for nonformers.

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Compared with nonformers, stone formers had significant 47% decreased odds of consuming nuts and seeds, 46% decreased odds of consuming fresh cheese, 56% increased odds of consuming cakes and biscuits, and 66% increased odds of consuming soft drinks. Stone formers also had significant 65% decreased odds of consuming alcoholic beverages overall and 58% decreased odds of drinking wine. They also had lower consumption of tea and coffee.

“This study helps define points of action in the prophylaxis of kidney stones,” the investigators wrote.

In accordance with the current findings and as recommended in the existing literature, Dr Legay and colleagues concluded, health care providers should encourage stone formers to consume a diet rich in vegetables and dairy products and limited in meat and salt. Further, they noted, a high intake of beverages, with a preference for water and unsweetened drinks, “is indicated to dilute the urine and limit its saturation in lithogenic components.”


Legay C, Haeusermann T, Pasquier J et al. Differences in the food consumption between kidney stone formers and nonformers in the Swiss Kidney Stone Cohort. J Ren Nutr. 2023;33:555-565. doi:10.1053/j.jrn.2023.04.007