a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)
Week: 555.3 Guest: Dr. W. Gordon Walker, Prof. Med. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Head Renal Unit, Helix Health, Baltimore, Md Topic: Caffeine, alcohol lessen chance of kidney stones Producer/Host: Steve Girard
NEMA: Kidney stones...and alcohol...more coming up...
SPOT: For 15 years, the National Emergency Medicine Association has worked against stroke, heart disease and trauma. Join the effort, call 800-332-6362.
NEMA: A study at Harvard has recently shown that caffeine and alcohol have a greater effect than water in preventing kidney stones... nephrologist Dr. W. Gordon Walker is Head of the Renal Unit at Helix Health in Baltimore...
WALKER: ...they have shown two things: one, it is important to take a lot of fluid...and two, that it makes a difference what sort of fluid you take. And wine, and a reasonable amount confers some additional protection, whereas apple juice or grapefruit juice appears to negate the protection that extra fluid intake offers.
NEMA: Why does the alcohol have a benefit..?
WALKER: If you administer alcohol under experimental conditions to an individual, his kidney tends to hold on to sodium and calcium a little bit more effectively, so that there's less of that in the urine.
NEMA: It's tough to drink six glasses of water a day, and nice to substitute something you know will help....
WALKER: ...but I hasten to add that I wouldn't recommend six glasses of wine a day!
NEMA: Maybe I was talking about the caffeine! I'm Steve Girard.