High intake of total fluid, fruit, and fiber is associated with a lower risk of hospitalization for a first kidney stone, a finding that suggests modifiable dietary factors could be targeted to prevent development of kidney stones, according to a British study.

In a study involving 439,072 participants identified using the UK Biobank, a population-based prospective cohort study, investigators found that each additional 200 mL intake of total fluid per day was associated with a significant 13% decreased risk of stones, Thomas J. Littlejohns, of the University of Oxford, and colleagues reported online in European Urology Focus.

The investigators observed similar patterns with intake of tea, coffee, and alcohol, but found no association between water consumption and stone risk.

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“The lower risk of kidney stones observed for tea, coffee, and alcohol, but not water, might reflect a potential diuretic effect and warrants further investigation,” the investigators stated.

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In addition, each 100 g intake of fruit per day and each 10 g intake of fiber per day were associated with significant 12% and 18% decreased risk of stones, respectively. In contrast, each 50 g increase in meat consumption per week was associated with a significant 17% increased risk of stones. Vegetable, fish, and cheese intake was not associated with stone risk.

“These results provide further evidence that diet is a potentially important modifiable factor for the prevention of kidney stone formation,” the authors wrote.

With regard to study limitations, Dr Littlejohns and his team noted that they had no information available on stone composition, so “it was not possible to investigate whether dietary factors differentially affect the development of stone subtypes.”


Littlejohns TJ, Neal NL, Bradbury KE, et al. Fluid intake and dietary factors and the risk of incident kidney stones in UK Biobank: A population-based prospective cohort study. Eur Urol Focus. 2019. 

doi: 10.1016/j.euf.2019.05.002