I’m going to share a story with you about a 64-year-old woman who had kidney stones. In her own words, here’s how it goes.
“6 Months ago I had a very painful kidney stone and the urologist found two more waiting in the wings. I began drinking unbelievable amounts of water and then began the Carnivore Diet. Just had a urology follow-up and before the sonogram, the doctor suggested that I go on a Low Oxalate Diet since I had had “multiple” kidney stones. (I will post the list of foods to avoid.) Then, they did the sonogram and discovered that I no longer have ANY kidney stones! The interesting part? Almost all of the foods on the “to avoid” list are carbs. Go figure.” – Claire D.
80% of kidney stones are made out of Calcium Oxalate. Any idea what food source has all the oxalates? I can tell you it’s not meat. Here is the list of foods Claire was told to avoid.
5%-10% of kidney stones are caused by uric acid. Uric acid is a byproduct of the metabolism of purines. While purines are present in all foods, they are typically higher in many of the foods emphasized on a nutrient-dense Carnivore diet, such as red meat, turkey, organ meats, and certain types of fish and seafood.
Often the recommendation is to limit or reduce dietary purines in an effort to reduce the generation of uric acid. This is misguided information.
Much like we now know that dietary cholesterol is not dangerous and will not cause heart attacks, dietary purines don’t increase uric acid.
Here’s a study completed in 2002 that shows minimal change in blood serum levels of uric acid based on the addition or removal of purine-rich food in a person’s diet.
SIDE NOTE: One of the big things this study mentions is that alcohol has a greater effect on uric acid levels that purines…..
Since we’re talking about Uric acid, we might as well talk about gout.
Gout is a common, painful form of arthritis. It causes swollen, red, hot and stiff joints. Gout happens when uric acid builds up in your body. Did you know that the same common recommendations for kidney stones are used for gout? Keep the purines away!!!
What if I told you to look at this study that shows purines actually help improve the excretion of uric acid from the body? https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF01852188
Much like the problems we see with Oxalate kidney stones, the real problem isn’t the meat you’re eating or purines. It’s carbs, plant-based foods, and sugar.
Here’s a very insightful snippet from Mark Sisson’s blog on the topic. https://www.marksdailyapple.com/gout-primal-paleo-diet/
When the liver is loaded with fructose, whether by excessive intake or a lack of liver-glycogen-burning activity, purine metabolism is disturbed and uric acid spikes. One study (PDF) found that 0.5 g/kg body weight was enough to increase uric acid levels by this mechanism.
Fructose also decreases urinary excretion of uric acid, so it’s a double whammy: fructose both increases uric acid and decreases its excretion.
Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Syndrome
Elevated insulin levels, especially the chronically-elevated levels (hyperinsulinemia) seen with insulin resistance, also reduce urinary excretion of uric acid. It’s no surprise that gout patients often display the classic trappings of metabolic syndrome, too, including diabetes, vascular disease, and poor glucose tolerance.
What we’ve learned.
Meat in your diet can actually help reduce uric acid. Current guidelines may work because of calorie restriction more than the science applied to how our bodies work.
If you reduce or eliminate plant-based foods you will most likely reduce your chance of a kidney stone or gout.
If you want any further confirmation that focusing on an animal based diet can help you deal with gout and kidnety stones listen to Dr. Ken Berry talk about it for a bit.