Ben Franklin and True Citrus: It Could Have Been History

January 10, 2012

Ben Franklin and True Citrus: It Could Have Been History


Ben Franklin’s birthday is January 17th. And at True Citrus we toast to our Founding Father with a big glass of water made better-tasting and more healthy with all-natural True Lemon, True Lime, True Orange or True Grapefruit.

Why water and citrus instead of champagne?

Because Franklin had a large urinary stone that along with gout, gave him lots of discomfort, limited his activity and probably indirectly contributed to his painful death at age 84.

Many doctors think it’s likely that Franklin’s stone and gout resulted from chronic hyperuricemia. That’s means there was too much uric acid (a waste product of food and alcohol) in his blood, which normally passes through the kidneys and gets eliminated in urine.

Hyperuricemia can have a genetic cause. Lead could also be a factor - Franklin was a printer and was exposed to plenty of lead. But diet is an important contributor as well.

When young, Franklin was healthy. He loved swimming, drank water instead of beer and was a vegetarian (mostly to save money). He famously wrote: “eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation,” and “to lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.”

But all that changed as he grew older. Especially when doing business on America’s behalf in Europe, Franklin indulged himself with heavy foods and wine. And, as he traveled across the sea, eating highly salted meats was the norm.

Franklin’s first gout attack was probably in his forties. It got worse in his 50s. But even though he was aware certain foods made him feel terrible, he kept eating lots of meat and drinking plenty of wine. When Franklin was 76 a visitor noted that he ate “large slices of cold meat” along with “two or three bumpers of good wine.” 

By this time, Franklin could tell there was a large stone in him that was going nowhere. This stone might have started in a kidney, but it grew over the years until it probably filled almost his entire bladder. He said of his stone (and you probably get the sarcasm) “… except in standing, walking, or making water, I am very little incommoded by it.”

So where does True Lemon come in? Well, if Franklin had cut down on the wine and took up water with all-natural True Lemon instead, he might have saved himself years of pain. He could have cut down on all that salt by using sodium-free True Lemon to season his foods, too!

How True Lemon helps with high uric acid levels and urinary stones

To deal with gout, the Mayo Clinic advises cutting down on meats and alcohol and boosting water drinking to help pass the excess uric acid. In a California university study True Lemon was proven to help adults drink more water! 

Drinking water is the most important step you can take to prevent kidney stones, according to doctors. Besides that, the Mayo Clinic notes that although no studies have proven it definitively, in theory drinking citrus juice could also reduce the risk of these stones, since the citric acid could reduce the calcium levels in urine.

Many True Citrus customers have written to let us know that adding True Lemon, True Lime or True Orange to their water has helped decrease their incidence of stones.

We would have loved to have been able to help with Ben Franklin’s health problems. After all, think of what he’s done for us - the lightning rod, bifocal glasses, Franklin stove, the postal system to name just a few things, besides of course his major contributions to American independence! But at least we can honor Franklin’s memory by drinking plenty of water, cutting down on salt, and staying stone free.