Is Lemon Good for Kidneys?

Citric acid is one of the acidic organic components that are very beneficial for the health. This is an element can be obtained in huge amounts from limes and lemons. Lemon, scientifically known as Citrus limon, is a small evergreen plant having culinary and non-culinary benefits. It is a rich source of vitamin C and has numerous phytochemicals along with citric acid. Lemon has various health benefits like boosting the immunity, preventing cough and cold, reducing weight etc. One common question has goes around is whether lemon is good for kidneys. In this article, we will discuss about it in details.

Is Lemon Good for Kidneys?

Yes, lemon is very good for the kidneys for the fact that it protects the human kidneys from kidney stones. Citric acid forms a coating around the small stones that get formed in the kidneys and prevent the sticking of other substances to it to make the stones big. Citric acid also helps to breakdown and eliminates the stones at the very onset of their formation. Urine that is high in citric acid will provide hostile conditions for the formation of such kidney stones. Hence it can be said that lemon is a fruit that happens to be much beneficial for kidney.

How Lemon Helps the Kidney?

Among various kidney related diseases, the occurrence of kidney stone is the most common one. These stones are small lumps that form out of the waste products that have not been washed away from the kidneys. They crystallize and take up the forms of stones. Often it has been seen that people who have this problem have the tendency of facing such stone formations in their kidneys even at a later stage. This is something that can be prevented with the help of lemon. Lemons have citric acid that helps to increase the volume of urine that is made by the kidneys and also increase the pH balance in the urine. This creates lesser favorable conditions for kidney stones to get formed again in the future.(1)

It has been said that a mere amount of half a cup of lemon juice a day can be thought to provide the body with the required citric acid that can help to prevent the formation of kidney stones in the future. In this perspective, some people also suggest that lemonade has been an effective homemade remedy that has not just given them a lot of respire from renal pains but has also prevented the formation of such stones in their kidneys in the future.

How to Cleanse Your Kidney with Lemon?

Steven Y Nakada, a professor of Urology in the University of Wisconsin in Madison, has clearly said that they prescribe lemonade to the patients who come in for kidney stone treatment. A person is experiencing a kidney stone related pain has compared the pain with that of childbirth. This is one of the most intense pain sensations that one experiences.

Formation of stones in kidneys occurs when the urine has a very high level of stone-forming salts in them. This high level of stone-forming salts in the urine generally happens due to a dearth of citrate in the body.(1) Patients who suffer from this situation are generally prescribed potassium nitrate.(2) Lemon juice is a form of food element that is very high in citrate in its most natural form. Lemon or lemon juices that are made with very low sugar amounts or no sugar at all can prove to be very beneficial to increase the citrate level in the body that is known to inhibit the growth of kidney stones. It is true that potassium citrate in its medicinal or drug format can give better and faster result but for people who wish to avoid yet again another drug can take the help of lemon juice with little or no sugar.(2)

The effect of lemon juice for patients with kidney stones is said to be rather slow and gradual. Patients who are known to be on the lemon juice therapy for their kidney stones did have a gradual but a steady effect for their kidney stones. Some patients are also known to be on this therapy for as long as four years. It has been seen that patients with kidney stones during these four years did experience a much slower growth of recurring kidney stones and yet again they did not have to opt for any other intervention during this time.

Additionally, people who are suffering from kidney stones need to pass a lot of urine during the day. They need to pass as much as 1.5 to 2 liters of urine a day. Intake of lemon juices helps them to pass more urine.(1) So a person who lives in more sunny and hot regions needs to drink more lemon juices than the ones who live in colder regions. This will help to keep your kidneys much more healthy over a period of time.

Conclusion

It is true that lemon juice based drinks can bring you a large number of health benefits and proper kidney functioning is just one of them. In this context, it is always best to have lemon juice in its most original and natural form. The original or natural lemon juice is devoid of all forms of preservatives that are great for your kidneys.

References:  

  1. Penniston KL, Nakada SY, Holmes RP, Assimos DG. Quantitative assessment of citric acid in lemon juice, lime juice, and commercially-available fruit juice products. J Endourol. 2008;22:567–570.
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18946667

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