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Melamine in Crockery may Increase Kidney Stone Risk

Update Date: Jan 22, 2013 05:47 AM EST

In a recent study, scientists have found that melamine, which is a common chemical used in the manufacture of crockery, can increase the risk of kidney stone. This is especially if the cookware is old and/or of an inferior quality.

For the study, researchers asked 12 healthy men and women to eat hot noodle soup. Half of them were served in melamine bowls, and the other half in ceramic bowls. Urine samples from the volunteers were collected at regular intervals for 12 hours after the consumption of soup. The volunteers were asked to come after three weeks and were asked to have the same kind of soup; however, the bowls were changed. So people who previously had from melamine bowls were served in a ceramic bowl, and vice versa.

The melamine level for people having soup from ceramic bowls was 1.3 micrograms, whereas those from melamine bowls were a high of 8.35 micrograms. Though the risk of this result in human health is yet not determined, however, it has been revealed that when children or adults are subjected to a low dose melamine, it increases their risk of getting kidney stone.

The study team was led by Chia-Fang Wu of Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan and the result was published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

"Melamine tableware may release large amounts of melamine when used to serve high-temperature foods. The amount of melamine released into food and beverages from melamine tableware varies by brand, so the results of this study of one brand may not be generalized to other brands," the author was quoted as saying in Medical Xpress.

"For consumers, one of the most common sources of exposure to melamine is from kitchenware including plates, bowls, mugs, etcetera, as melamine has long been known to migrate from these into food," Dr. Kenneth Spaeth, director of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Center at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY, was quoted as saying in Medical Xpress. Dr. Spaeth was not involved in the study.

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