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Experts warn against coconut water concoction for kidney stones

Jack Burton

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Experts warn against coconut water concoction for kidney stones | The Thaiger
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Low in calories, naturally free of fat and cholesterol, more potassium than bananas and super hydrating – these are just a few of the many benefits ascribed coconut water. Dubbed “Mother Nature’s sports drink” by marketers, demand is soaring in the US and elsewhere, propelled by celebrity and athlete endorsements, promises help with everything from hangovers to cancer. A multitude of unproven health claims are made… it “may” have antioxidant properties; have benefits against diabetes; prevent hair loss; reduce blood pressure and support heart health, etc.

But multiple posts shared hundreds of times on Thai social media claim that coconut water diluted with potassium aluminium sulphate (a compound used in water purification), can “dissolve kidney stones”. Health experts say this claim is misleading and potentially dangerous. There’s insufficient scientific evidence that the concoction can cure kidney stones, and Thailand’s Department of Medical Science warns that excessive consumption of aluminium can even lead to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

The post’s Thai-language caption translates to English as… “#Formulated to dissolve kidney stones… use 1 glass of coconut water diluted by a thumb-sized potassium alum, 2-3 times, remove the potassium alum and drink it, do it for 5 days, once a day and stop. If your symptoms are not better, do it until it gets better.”

Similar claims were shared on Twitter as far back as 2011 and on YouTube in 2019. Thay’ve now resurfaced on Facebook. During a July 16 phone conversation with AFP, a urologist at Thailand’s Taksin Hospital says that there are studies that say drinking coconut water can prevent you from getting stones.

“However, you can’t expect it to be very effective because the studies about this are still unclear, and it can’t be used to cure all types of kidney stones. The medical treatment for kidney stones varies, depending on the type and size, such as taking medication, shock wave lithotripsy or surgery.”

He recommended drinking 2 litres of clean water daily, regular exercise and a healthy diet to avoid stones forming in the body.

Experts warn against coconut water concoction for kidney stones | News by The Thaiger

Experts warn against coconut water concoction for kidney stones | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: AFP

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    July 18, 2020 at 11:45 am

    I am not buying Thai coconuts or coconut milk.
    They use chained and tortured monkeys to pick the coconuts you know.

    • Avatar

      me

      July 20, 2020 at 12:11 pm

      toby, i bet you don’t buy a lot of things.

  2. Avatar

    gosport

    July 18, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    I always buy coconut water while in Thailand, esp after jogging. Nice price.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    July 21, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    I buy a lot of beer.

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