Oxidative stress and nephrolithiasis: a comparative pilot study evaluating the effect of pomegranate extract on stone risk factors and elevated oxidative stress levels of recurrent stone formers and controls

Urolithiasis. 2014 Oct;42(5):401-8. doi: 10.1007/s00240-014-0686-8. Epub 2014 Aug 2.


Previous studies have linked oxidative stress and nephrolithiasis. Animal studies have demonstrated that pomegranate juice may play a role in preventing stone formation. We examined differences between recurrent stone formers (RSFs) and non-stone formers (NSFs) regarding oxidative stress and the effect of pomegranate administration on risk factors for nephrolithiasis. RSFs were recruited prospectively and matched to a group of NSFs. Subjects submitted urine and blood samples prior to and after receiving pomegranate polyphenol extract (1,000 mg) for 90 days. Serum and urine samples were analyzed for stone risk and oxidative stress. Thirty subjects completed the study. RSFs had significantly higher levels of oxidative stress at baseline as measured by urinary 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine (p < 0.0001), 2.2'-azobis (2-amidinopropane) hydrochloride-induced serum lipid peroxidation [increased levels of lipid peroxides (p = 0.0002), and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (p = 0.002)], but not by serum paraoxonase1 (PON1) arylesterase activity (p > 0.99), or by highly sensitive C-reactive protein (p > 0.99). Following pomegranate supplementation, there was a 10 % increase in PON1 activity in RSFs (p = 0.007), which correlated with a trend toward decreasing values of supersaturation of calcium oxalate (SSCaOx; p = 0.05). RSFs have markedly higher levels of oxidative stress than NSFs. While the ability to prevent stone formation through supplementation cannot be determined in this pilot study, supplementation with pomegranate extract does not increase the risk of stones and may confer some benefit in lowering SSCaOX in those patients with increased PON-1 levels following supplementation, confirming findings of previous animal models.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lythraceae*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrolithiasis / metabolism*
  • Nephrolithiasis / prevention & control*
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Plant Extracts