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Three questions asked to Doctors

  • Published at 08:31 am October 18th, 2013

Most people are conscious about their health. They like to know the benefits of the food they usually consume. Egg and milk is central to their queries. In case of protecting the organs of the body, many people think of their kidneys first.

What is a recommended diet for preventing kidney stones?

Before dealing with the diet, we need to know about the constituents of kidney stones. They are calcium oxalate and phosphate (together they make 80%), magnesium aluminium phosphate, uric acid and cystin. Diets that make these stone forming salts insoluble will promote stone formation.

Most important step is to increase the amount of fluid intake to 3-4 litres per day, which will lead to production of 2 litres urine.

This will flush away the stone forming salts and decrease the likelihood of stone formation. Fluid intake should be distributed throughout the day, especially before retiring to bed. In terms of food, the most important thing is to decrease meat consumption. Low protein diet is recommended as high protein increases the stone forming product of our body: oxalate, uric acid, and decreases anti stone forming substances like citrate.

Table salts also need to be minimised. Calcium should be plenty in diet. Though it may sound paradoxical, it binds and washes stone forming oxalate though stool.

Avoid food that is rich in oxalate such as Spinach, Rhubarb. Food supplements with Vitamin C and D are also discouraged.

These recommended diet regimes will decrease the likelihood of kidney stone formation, but will not prevent stone formation if you have strong stone forming pathology.

Are free range eggs healthier than conventional eggs?

Though many folks are fond of taking eggs but sometimes it is discouraged due to its high cholesterol content. Keeping this in mind, it has been advertised that free range eggs are better than conventional eggs regarding cholesterol content.

But a new study found no significant difference between cholesterol levels in free eggs compared to conventional egg.

Free range eggs are certainly better from an animal welfare standpoint and also less likely to be contaminate d with Salmonella (salmonella causes Typhoid fever) but do not have less cholesterol which is the most important health reason to minimise egg intake.

Raw milk or Pasteurized milk, which is better?

There is a common misconception, and widespread propaganda regarding this. There was a systematic review on this, where the researchers concluded that, the impact of pasteurization on the nutritive value of milk appears to be minimal. Nutritional elements do not differ significantly between these.

The greater issue is that of infectious diseases. E. Coli infection, Tuberculosis, Brucellosis etc these infections are prone to develop in persons who consume raw milk

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