are kidney me?On this third (and thankfully final) Friday the 13th of the year, I thought it might be relevant to discuss the quite unlucky and very painful diagnosis that nearly 5% of the world population (and growing) face at one time in their lives: kidney stones.

Doctors believe that kidney stones occur mainly when there is not enough calcium in the diet (or after long-term space missions). Luckily a new study shows that there is hope, even for the lactose-intolerant: tea.

The study found that compounds in the tea (which we know as polyphenols) make it difficult for larger stones to form. It appears that tea actually flattens the shape of the crystals. These flatter crystals form less stable kidney stones that break up easily, causing little or no pain.

So take a moment to prevent the pain – drink some tea!