Research shows that Magnesium can prevent recurrence of kidney stones
A 2010 global study on prevalence and incidence of kidney stones found that kidney stone prevalence has doubled in the United States since the 1964 through 1972 . Other countries like Germany, Spain, and Italy too show increases in prevalence. Changes in dietary practices are seen as key driving forces influencing these trends. An increasing incidence of kidney stone disease was found to be accompanied by changes in dietary trends. As animal protein and fat intake increases, oxalate absorption and calcium oxalate stone diseases also increase.
A Stone in my kidney!
A kidney stone (or calculus) is a solid, rock-like type of material that has formed or is present in the kidneys, ureters, or bladder.
A kidney stone is formed from mineral substances that precipitate from the urine. These stones can stay in the kidney or travel down the urinary tract.
Smaller stones, about a millimetre in size, may pass out of the body when a person urinates, this will simply be mildly painful. When the Kidney stones get to around three millimetres or larger problems can occur.
Larger stones may lodge in the ureter, bladder, or urethra, blocking urine flow and causing extreme pain.
Following symptoms indicate the possibility of Kidney stones:
- Pain in the groin area moving down from the belly
- Fever, nausea and vomiting
- Blood in the urine or abnormal colour of urine
Magnesium for Kidney Stones Management
It is possible to treat Kidney stones through medication or surgery, however, the pain bestowed on an individual with Kidney stones is excruciating. It is often compared to the pain of delivering a child!
Studies have shown that those suffering with kidney stones have one thing in common; the diet they eat. This diet is typically one with large meals predominantly made up of animal proteins (meat) and lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables. This means a diet that does not include good levels of minerals like magnesium and potassium.
Magnesium is a calcium inhibitor and effectively stops the formation of calcium-oxalate crystals in the Kidney. Calcium and magnesium are both required in the body at a balance of roughly two times calcium to one times Magnesium (2:1 ratio). When magnesium is deficient in the body the balance is not correct and calcium can build up and crystallise forming stones because the magnesium is not available to inhibit the calcium. Research as far back as in the 1960s had established a link between magnesium and kidney stones.
In the Rodale Press publication Health Bulletin (June 13, 1964) Dr Sauberlich of the Army’s Fitzsimons General Hospital, Denver quotes: “Magnesium oxide ‘looks very promising’ as a preventive of kidney stones”. Subsequent studies have proved magnesium indeed helps prevent recurrence of calcium oxalate kidney stones, by increasing the solubility of calcium in urine.  A research done on a group of 64 patients who had a history of renal calculi (Ettinger et al. 1997) found that “potassium/magnesium citrate effectively prevents recurrent calcium oxalate stones, and this treatment given for up to 3 years. reduces risk of recurrence by 85%." . Another study done in 2007 concluded that potassium-magnesium citrate is an effective countermeasure for the increased risk of renal stone disease associated with immobilization . A South African study concluded that ‘mineral water containing calcium and magnesium deserves to be considered as a possible therapeutic or prophylactic agent in calcium oxalate kidney stone disease’. (Rodgers 1997) . A French mineral water containing calcium (202 ppm) and magnesium (36 ppm) was given to 20 participants with a history of calcium oxalate stones and 20 healthy volunteers. Each subject provided 24-hour urine collection samples each day during the study. The mineral water was ingested over a 3-day period. Then the participants switched to tap water. The cycle was repeated at least twice by each subject. The male stone formers were most favorably affected by the mineral water containing calcium and magnesium. Magnesium inhibits the growth of Kidney stones in the test tube  and decreases stone formation in rats.
Magnesium Citrate or Magnesium Oxide?
Magnesium oxide, Magnesium Hydroxide and Magnesium Citrate are three popular types of magnesium supplements available over the counter. According to a study published in February 1990 in the "Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the magnesium in Magnesium citrate supplements like Mag365 are more easily absorbed and more bioavailable than the magnesium in magnesium oxide. Because of higher percentage of the bioavailable magnesium, magnesium citrate supplements do not need to contain as much total magnesium to have the same effect as magnesium oxide supplements. Anyway, for prevention of recurrence of kidney stones, doctors will usually prescribe you a magnesium citrate supplement like Mag365. If you are in pain due to kidney stones, try supplementing your diet with Mag365 or Magnesium Rub, you will find this helps protect against further reoccurrences of your kidney stones.
- Victoriano Romero, MD, Haluk Akpinar, MD, and Dean G Assimos, MD, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC. kidney Stones: A Global Picture of Prevalence, Incidence, and Associated Risk Factors. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2931286/
- Johansson G, Backman U, Danielson BG, et al. Biochemical and clinical effects of the prophylactic treatment of renal calcium stones with magnesium hydroxide. J Urol . 1980;124:770-774.
- Ettinger B, Pak CY, Citron JT, et al. Potassium-magnesium citrate is an effective prophylaxis against recurrent calcium oxalate nephrolithiasis. J Urol. 1997;158:2069-2073.
- Zerwekh JE, Odvina CV, Wuermser LA, Pak CY.Reduction of renal stone risk by potassium-magnesium citrate during 5 weeks of bed rest. J Urol. 2007 Jun;177(6):2179-84.
- Effect of mineral water containing calcium and magnesium on calcium oxalate urolithiasis risk factors. Rodgers AL. Urol Int. 1997;58(2):93-9. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9096270
- Li MK, Blacklock NJ, Garside J. Effects of magnesium on calcium oxalate crystallization. J Urol. 1985;133:123