Medicine: Stones, Water & Suds

In patients who have a tendency to form kidney stones, doctors usually want to increase the flow of water through the system. And to speed it up, some have prescribed diuretics (of which no fewer than 109 are listed in the Physicians' Desk Reference) though this may be dangerous. Last week Urologist Julius H. Winer of the University of California Medical Center in Los Angeles reported in the A.M.A. Journal that he had confirmed what suds lovers have known for centuries: among his patients, "beer gave an adequate rapid diuresis in most cases." It is safe too.

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