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Potassium Citrate May Prevent Stones in Ketogenic Diet

Last Updated: July 13, 2009.

An oral potassium citrate supplement, Polycitra K, can prevent the formation of kidney stones in children put on a ketogenic diet for intractable epilepsy, according to a study published online July 13 in Pediatrics.

MONDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- An oral potassium citrate supplement, Polycitra K, can prevent the formation of kidney stones in children put on a ketogenic diet for intractable epilepsy, according to a study published online July 13 in Pediatrics.

Melanie A. McNally, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues assessed the efficacy of Polycitra K to prevent kidney stones in a study involving 313 children treated for epilepsy at Johns Hopkins Hospital who were put on the ketogenic diet. Between 2000 and 2005, children on the diet were given daily Polycitra K only if they were diagnosed with hypercalciuria, but between 2006 and 2008, children put on the diet received Polycitra K prophylactically whether or not they had hypercalciuria. The researchers compared the incidence of kidney stones in children who took the supplement prophylactically, took it for hypercalciuria only, or did not receive the supplement at all.

The researchers found that, of the children who received Polycitra K at the beginning of their ketogenic diet, 0.9 percent developed kidneys stones compared to 6.7 percent of children who took Polycitra K only because of hypercalciuria, and 10.5 percent of children who did not receive Polycitra K at all. There were no reports of adverse events.

"Oral potassium citrate is an effective preventive supplement against kidney stones in children who receive the ketogenic diet, achieving its goal of urine alkalinization. Universal supplementation is warranted," the authors conclude.

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