A diet designed to control blood pressure may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones.

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is high in fruits and vegetables, moderate in low-fat dairy products and low in animal protein. Previously Eric N. Taylor, MD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and colleagues from Harvard Medical School, both in Boston, identified an association between adherence to this eating plan and large reductions in kidney stone risk.

Recently, the same investigators studied the relationship between a DASH-style diet and 24-hour urine composition among 3,426 people, with and without kidney stones, who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and the Nurses’ Health Studies I and II.

Despite similar fluid intake, participants who followed the DASH diet excreted more urine than did non-followers, possibly because of higher water content in DASH foods.

The DASH group also had higher concentrations of citrate in their urine. Small associations between higher DASH score and lower relative supersaturations of calcium oxalate and uric acid “suggest unidentified stone inhibitors in dairy products and/or plants,” the researchers wrote.

The full study was first published online, ahead of print, in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The DASH diet might be of particular interest to postmenopausal women on estrogen therapy, as findings from a separate study indicated that hormone therapy may significantly increase the risk of kidney stones in these women.