Kidney Stones and Soylent


#1

So, just came back from the ER. They think I had/have a kidney stone (weren’t able to see it, but could see the effects of it). Anyways, family is concerned that it might be secondary to Soylent (Doctor didn’t really make a link…). Unfortunately a quick google for ‘Soylent and Kidney Stones’, turns up a few hits (which I’m sure is going to be used by some to have me stop with Soylent. I really don’t want to, as I feel a lot healthier than before I started (also 40lbs lighter) but then again, I can’t prove it’s NOT Soylent. (Don’t even have a stone type…)

Thoughts?


#2

A few Google hits is not data. People get kidney stones. There are many potential causes. Yes, some are dietary. A few people who are using Soylent getting kidney stones is meaningless without more information. If a random sample of a few thousand Soylent users turned up significantly more cases of kidney stones than is typical in people who don’t use Soylent, that would be a good reason to be worried. I would trust your doctor on this, unless someone in your family specializes in kidney stones.

As far as your personal experience goes, you do have data saying you feel healthier. Not being able to prove it is not Soylent is meaningless, unless you have ruled out everything else. So you don’t have any data suggesting Soylent is causing it, and your doctor cannot find a connection, but you do have evidence that you are feeling healthier.

So yeah, it could be, but if your doctor cannot find a connection, it probably is not. If I was in your position, I would tell my family that I trust my doctor, but I would be ready to change my diet if my doctor changed his mind. And if someone tries to tell you that you should stop, ask them if they can send you a link to the study showing that Soylent has been implicated in kidney stones. If they don’t have a study, they don’t have solid evidence. (Or, if you wanted to be less polite about it, you might point out that they are not doctors and Google hits do not constitute evidence. Because I’ll bet you get way more hits about people having kidney stones who have never even heard of Soylent than those who use it, and by that logic we should all stop eating, because everyone who gets kidney stones eats. And it would actually work too. If we all stopped eating, within maybe a month or so, no one would get kidney stones ever again.)


#3

Searching this site gives interesting results. For example, “Lifeguards in Israel develop kidney stones twenty times more often than the general population.” And spinach might cause kidney stones!

If you pay attention to these stories, you are about as likely not to get kidney stones as you are not to break your mother’s back if you avoid stepping on a crack.

I don’t see any reason to suspect that Soylent causes kidney stones.


#4

Full disclosure I had a history of kidney stones before I started Soylent. There are 2 different kinds of stones and the ones I get are calcium oxalate stones. They are caused by eating oxalate rich foods such as spinach, sweet potatoes, nuts, and yes…soy. I have had at least one more since I started Soylent just over a year ago and on another occasion I feel like I had a small one but I didn’t go to the hospital for it, I just dealt with the pain (which was much less severe than for my other stones which is why it think it was small) and then I believe that I passed it because the pain went away and there was no more blood in my urine. You can do things to reduce the likelihood of a stone forming such as drink LOTS of water, which I do regularly. Also limit salt intake as that reduces kidney function and increases the amount of oxalate in the urine. It may or may not be Soylent contributing to my stones but regardless I am unlikely to change my Soylent routine.


#5

Oh man sorry to hear this! Soylent might be causing it since you have a predisposition to getting them but I doubt there’s any way to tell nor should we think it’s the soylent and not your predisposition…

Whatever tho. I had a bout with stones for a time. It was the worst! I even got stones in the glands in my mouth, which was really awkward but less painful… So whatever was going on with me, I was just getting stones everywhere.

I started drinking stonebreaker tea 1-3 times a day for about a month and have not had any issues with stones since. This was several years ago.

So, do try that! It’s not very expensive and I don’t think it can hurt you much, so you may as well give it a shot!


#6

Been doing a lot of reading (mostly PubMed), and I’ve come to some conclusions…

First, I’m going to guess oxalate, as it has the most dietary factors.

One thing relatively high in oxalates is cinnamon, now I’ve been using a fair amount of cinnamon to flavor my powder. That being said the oxalates in cinnamon are insoluble, which is what you want (rather than the soluble oxalates in turmeric). Insoluble oxalates will tend to stay in the gut, whereas soluble ones get absorbed, but can then come out of solution in unfortunate places (like the kidneys).

That being said it’s a lot of cinnamon, so it is possible that the Soylent isn’t totally blameless.

There is also talk of avoiding animal protein, which means ‘horray for Soylent’, but that’s for another type of stone.

I also had one liver enzyme a bit high, and I know there is some talk about lots of cinnamon causing some liver issues. This means I’m not going to be adding cinnamon to my Soylent anymore :cry: which is sad because I like cinnamon in my Soylent.

The family members mean well and they are worried about me, so I’m going to go off Soylent for a month (although not sure what that will show… if I get a stone, doesn’t mean it wasn’t Soylent and if I don’t doesnt mean it was…but if it makes them happy, I’ll go ahead.)


#7

Never gave any thought to omnifoods as sources of calcium, but now, checking a few nutrition panels, I note that

  • Soylent drink has 200mg per (400cal) serving
  • Super Fuel has 325mg per (500cal) serving
  • PlennyShake has only 160mg in a 400cal meal
  • Mana also has 160mg in a 400cal serving of its RTD product

#8

Look into Ceylon cinnamon. It doesn’t have the nasty stuff the other ones do. I buy mine from a local spice store.