In this day and age there is a lot of information on the internet about natural cures, home remedies, and herbs. A lot of the folk medicine cures had some very useful and valuable knowledge as they were passed on, since cures have been used for generations to help with certain ailments and issues. Other information however, is not as useful. It's important to be a critical thinker about how you make your decisions when reading information on the internet about cures for kidney stones. Some of them work, and most of them do not. It's okay if there are no harmful side effects or adverse reactions, however, in cases where a particular remedy on the internet could cause harm, it's important that you looked at multiple sources of information and reviewed the credibility of the sources before trying the recommendations. In this article, I will review a few different online sources that target the question: can Coke dissolve kidney stones?
http://getwellstaywellathome.com/ - This website explains a home remedy believed to be successful for helping with kidney stones. This home remedy involves Coca Cola and asparagus. As strange as this sounds, when you do a google search, many articles come up, as well as online forums. This website reports that the remedy works 80% of the time. The remedy consists of Coca Cola which has phosphoric acid, and asparagus, which acts as a diuretic to flush out the tiny crystals. The theory is that the change in pH due to drinking coke can increase hydrogen ion secretion in the kidney's nephrons. The phosphoric acid helps to break down the kidney stones. The remedy involves drinking 72 ounces of coke within 2 hours. After you have finished drinking the 72 ounces of coke, the remedy recommends that you drink the asparagus that has been made into a puree. After this has been done, the article mentions that within a few hours, the kidney stones will dissolve and pass through the urine in sand like particles. The article also cautions that you should drink a lot of water after this exercise to rehydrate your body. It mentions that normally any soda pop will dehydrate the body and lead to a higher potential for kidney stones. The remedy above, was mentioned as a rare use formula and regular soda drinking was not recommended for those prone to kidney stones. There were no reviews after this article mentioning whether or not it worked. There were also no scientifically backed references.
www.washintoncitypaper.com (July 2012) - This website reviews the information about how Coca Cola and Asparagus that was reviewed in the previous article. It mentions asparagus as being a mild diuretic. It also mentions how the phosphoric acid in Coke can be as tough as being able to dissolve nails. It finally purports that a huge consumption of Coca Cola and then asparagus can be a kidney stone flush system. This article actually recommends that you drink the asparagus blend prior to drinking the 12 pack of Coke, and then followed by water. The article also does some thoughtful commentary on whether or not this scientifically makes sense. The article recommends that rather than using the general kidney stone flush formula, that getting some tests done on what kind of stone (what chemical compounds need to be dissolved) will be helpful prior to making the decision to use the Coca Cola remedy. Overall, this article reviewed the remedy, with some openness, and some skepticism. It's main point was to recommend follow up with a doctor for determining the type of kidney stone first. There were no scientific references on this article.
http://kidneystones.uchicago.edu/the-coke-treatment/ - This website is a scientifically backed website by an MD from the University of Chicago. This website refutes the efficacy of a kidney stone flush using Coca Cola. The writer mentions that despite the fact that phosphoric acid is in the drink Coca Cola, which may be useful in dissolving kidney stones, that the phosphoric acid cannot be delivered in that form after it has gone through the gastrointestinal tract, to the kidneys and urine. This is because calcium and magnesium will bind to the phosphoric acid while in the gastrointestinal tract. By the time it is delivered to the right area of the body, it is usually in the form of a neutral phosphate, which has no evidence of having any dissolution ability on kidney stone crystals. Rather, the writer mentions the health risks of drinking so much cola over the course of 24-48 hours, and in the long term. She mentions that having too much soda can actually increase the risk of having more kidney stones after the long time. She quoted statistical studies mentioning that in a study of 200,000 people, Ferraro and his colleagues analyzed the association between colas and kidney stone formation. They found that this group had 23% more likely occurrence of developing a kidney stone than the group that did not drink tenuous amounts of Coca Cola. The writer also talked about other health hazards related to drinking copious amounts of Cola such as diabetes risk, bone disease, obesity, and kidney disease.
http://www.curezone.org/forums/am.asp?i=14504 - This link is an online forum of individuals discussing the remedy of Coca Cola and asparagus. In this forum, the writer Tgparker mentions that the cure made a significant difference for kidney stone issues. There are no scientific resources on this forum, and there were not a lot of people who commented on this person's positive spin for this remedy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbZZEY0SZ6M - This youtube video shows how to make the remedy for kidney stones using asparagus and Coca Cola. Underneath there are a few comments agreeing with, and disagreeing with this remedy.
Overall, the jury is still out about whether or not this cure works. While it's true that there are quite a few websites that talk about this remedy, I think the only conclusion is that it's important to read more information about this, perhaps talk to a health care professional, and make an informed decision.
Update: Since the article was originally published I have had a kidney stone and put Coke to the test. I drank an entire 2 liter of Coke within an hour putting the theory to the test. Unfortunately for me Coke did not have any noticeable effect on the stone. However this could have been due to the type of stone or any number of other reasons. Conclusion for me is that Coke does not work to dissolve a kidney stone.
Does Coke reduce the size of a kidney stone?
That is really hard for me to determine but once again I could not differeniate any difference in the size or pain of the stone.
The only thing drinking an entire 2 liter of Coke did for me was fill me full of sugar and caffeine and not allow me to sleep. Which when you have a kidney stone, the only thing you really want to do is sleep and drinking this much Coke does not allow that.
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