If you have been a Dialysis patient for any period of time, then you likely know that Phosphorus is a mineral which must be closely monitored and limited. Common drinks which Chronic Kidney Disease patients who conduct Dialysis enjoy such as certain types of specialty waters, juices, teas, lemonades, and of course all types of sodas (not only Colas) have been newly found to contain significant levels of phosphorus.
As Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients may know, the issue with phosphorus retention is that it may cause:
- Bone and heart problems that lead to hospital stays and in some cases death.
- Weakened bones which makes them more likely to break and develop Renal Osteodystrophy (bone disease that occurs when patients fail to maintain proper levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood).
- Calcification or hardening of tissues when phosphorus and calcium form hard deposits in the heart, arteries, joints, skin or lungs that can be painful and lead to serious health problems.
- Severe itching.
- Bone pain.
Hence, when researchers at Geisinger Health System reported that substantial amounts of phosphorus in the Nation's forty-six (46) most popular beverages, KidneyBuzz.com found it to be Headline News for the Chronic Kidney Disease Community. Dr. Alex Chang (Clinical Investigator in Nephrology) noted, “It’s almost impossible to figure out how much phosphorus is in our beverage products." He also mentioned that, “Cola products are well-known to contain phosphoric acid, but our analysis found there to be a lot more products out there that have phosphorus additives.”
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Findings were quite surprising. For instance, 35% of beverages sampled did not list phosphorus on their label of ingredients, but when measured it was discovered that they in fact did contain significant levels of the mineral. Similarly, even 78% of the products that did list phosphorus content actually contained higher levels than what was listed.
Researchers also found that there is no set phosphorus levels based upon the brand of beverage. In fact phosphorus contents vary within the same brand based upon the flavor and type of drink. An illustration used by the National Kidney Foundation suggested that, "One popular line of flavored water had phosphorus levels that ranged from 0.9 mg – 261.4 mg per 8 oz., depending on the variety."
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How can Dialysis patients protect themselves? Well, according to Livestrong.com, "Cream Soda, Ginger Ale and Root Beer are all phosphorus free." Still, Dr. Chang recommends avoiding all bottled drinks that contain the word "phos" on the list of ingredients since that suggests some form of phosphorus is contained in the drink. However, since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently does not require reporting of phosphorus levels on food labels, to err on the safest side, patients may consider avoiding "most bottled drinks other than water," altogether.
Do you enjoy bottled drinks? If so, do you look out for phosphorus contents in the drinks? Your voice matters. Click here to share your experiences with the over 23,400 Friends on the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page. Also, for the latest breaking news and information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetes how to better manage and improve their lives, visit KidneyBuzz.com every day.