From Science Daily:

David Killilea, PhD, a staff scientist at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) — the research arm of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland — co-authored a study into the causes of kidney stones. The study was conducted by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), in collaboration with the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Marin County and CHORI. Published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, the study revealed that high levels of zinc in the body may contribute to kidney stone formation.

Kidney stones are hard, often jagged masses of crystalized minerals that form in the kidney. Some kidney stones are very small and pass through the body without even being noticed. Larger stones may get stuck in the urinary tract, however, causing severe pain and blood in the urine.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), kidney stones are one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract, affecting nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population. Each year in the U.S., people suffering with kidney stones make over a million visits to health care providers, including over 300,000 visits to emergency rooms due to the pain. While kidney stones are more common in adults, they also are becoming increasingly common in infants, children, and teenagers from all races and ethnicities.

“Nearly 90 percent of kidney stones are calcium-based, but we really don’t know what causes those stones to form,” says Dr. Killilea. “In the past, urologists recommended limiting the amount of calcium in the diet…

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