Using low-calorie orange juice as a dietary alternative to alkali therapy

Tim Large, James Williams, John R. Asplin, Amy Krambeck*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: The pursuit of a dietary source to increase urine pH and citrate in stone formers has been ongoing for >30 years. Early evidence showed that orange juice (OJ) contains alkali and citrate, but high sugar and ascorbic acid content limited the use of OJ as a viable daily source of alkali. Recently, novel low-calorie OJs have emerged and could potentially be a better option. Methods: Beverages with high concentrations of alkali citrate and malate were identified using ion chromatography. Two low-calorie OJ beverages, in addition to crystal light lemonade beverage (CLLB), were chosen. Healthy volunteers (5 men, 5 women) drank 1 L of OJ or CLLB with 1 L water daily for 7 days, and then completed a 24-hour urinalysis. A washout week was instituted between trial weeks. The study design is a prospective randomized crossover control trial. A paired analysis using comparison of means was used to evaluate low-calorie OJ and CLLB. Volunteers had no prior history of kidney stones and maintained a journal with beverage compliance, side effect (SE), and dietary consumption data. Results: Tropicana 50 (TRP50), Kroger low-calorie OJ (KLCO), and CLLB were found to have a total alkali content of 56.60, 47.9, and 17.3 mEq/L, respectively, based on ion chromatography. Consumption of all three beverages raised urinary citrate (116.6 [-118 to 373, 177.9 [-3 to 359], 155.6 [-4 to 237] 6mg/day 95% confidence interval) and urinary pH (0.25 [0.08-0.53], 0.74 [0.41-1.07 p < 0.05], 0.25 [0.25-0.64]), respectively, compared with water phase. Based on journal entries by volunteers, TRP50 had the most SEs (90% participants) felt to be a result of the artificial sweetener (Stevia_). Conclusion: Low-calorie OJs, and to a lesser extent CLLB, have alkali and citrate based on ion chromatography. Daily consumption by healthy volunteers of KLCO can raise urinary pH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1082-1087
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Endourology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Aciduria
  • Dietary alternatives
  • Hypocitraturia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


Dive into the research topics of 'Using low-calorie orange juice as a dietary alternative to alkali therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this