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Can Vitamin C Cause Kidney Stones

Vitamin C Raises Risk Of Kidney Stones

Can Vitamin C Cause Kidney Stones? How Much Vitamin C Per Day Should You Take?

Men who consume high levels of vitamin C are at twice the risk of kidney stones than men who do not.

The new finding does not strongly establish that vitamin C is responsible for the occurrence of kidney stones, however it may make us wonder whether large amounts of vitamin C are harmful to the body.

Kidney stones are tiny masses of crystals that can painfully obstruct the urinary tract.

Signs and symptoms of a kidney stone include:

  • severe pain from the flank to groin or to the genital area and inner thigh.
  • urinary urgency
  • vomiting
  • blood in the urine

Kidney stones may be caused by diets rich in animal protein, sodium, refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, and cola drinks. Low fluid intake can also increase stone formation. Women have a typically much lower overall risk of kidney stones than men. Therefore, the outcomes of this study do not apply to women.

The researchers suspected that greater amounts of vitamin C could elevate the risk of kidney stones because the body breaks down the vitamin into material known as oxelate a part of the stones.

Study co-author Agneta Akesson, an associate professor with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, said:

It is important that the public is aware that there may be risks associated with taking high doses of vitamin C. Those with a history of kidney stones should consult their doctor before taking high-dose vitamin C supplements.

Is 1000mg Vitamin C Safe

There is a limit for the amount of vitamins C that can be consumed by adults. It is recommended that people with chronic liver disease, gout, or kidney disease take no more than 1,000 IU of vitamins C and E a day. It is possible to increase the excretion of urinary oxalate and uric acid with a high intake of vitamins C and C.

Assessment Of Kidney Stones

Participants who reported an incident kidney stone were asked to complete a supplementary questionnaire about the date of occurrence and associated signs and symptoms such as pain or hematuria. A kidney stone associated with pain or hematuria was the study outcome. Medical record validation studies confirmed the kidney stone diagnosis in more than 95% of cases among participants who submitted the supplementary questionnaire. Stone composition was available in a subsample of the cases and found to be 50% calcium oxalate in 77% of NHS I, 79% of NHS II and 86% of HPFS participants.

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Calcium And Vitamin D Are Some Of The Most Common Supplements Taken In The Us

Around 77 percent of adult Americans take dietary supplements, per a 2019 survey from the Council for Responsible Nutrition , and vitamin D and calcium are some of the most popular ones out there. According to the survey, following multivitamins, vitamin D is the most popular supplement with 31 percent of adults taking it. And around 20 percent say they take calcium supplements.

The 2014 study also notes that both calcium and vitamin D supplements are widely recommended for post-menopausal women in order to prevent osteoporosis, a bone disease likely to occur in people with low calcium levels.

Does Too Much Vitamin C Cause Side Effects

Can Vitamin C cause Kidney Stones?

Vitamin C is a very important nutrient thats abundant in many fruits and vegetables.

Getting enough of this vitamin is especially important for maintaining a healthy immune system. It also plays an important role in wound healing, keeping your bones strong, and enhancing brain function .

Interestingly, some claim that vitamin C supplements provide benefits beyond those that can be obtained from the vitamin C found in food.

One of the most common reasons people take vitamin C supplements is the idea that they help prevent the common cold .

However, many supplements contain extremely high amounts of the vitamin, which can cause undesirable side effects in some cases.

This article explores the overall safety of vitamin C, whether its possible to consume too much, and the potential adverse effects of taking large doses.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it dissolves in water.

In contrast to fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins do not get stored within the body.

Instead, the vitamin C that you consume gets transported to your tissues via body fluids, and any extra gets excreted in urine .

Since your body does not store vitamin C or produce it on its own, its important to consume foods that are rich in vitamin C daily .

However, supplementing with high amounts of vitamin C can lead to adverse effects, such as digestive distress and kidney stones.

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Linus Pauling Institute Recommendation

Combined evidence from metabolic, pharmacokinetic, and observational studies, and from randomized controlled trials supports consuming sufficient vitamin C to achieve plasma concentrations of at least 60 mol/L. While most generally healthy young adults can achieve these plasma concentrations with daily vitamin C intake of at least 200 mg/day, some individuals may have a lower vitamin C absorptive capacity than what is currently documented. Thus, the Linus Pauling Institute recommends a vitamin C intake of 400 mg daily for adults to ensure replete tissue concentrations an amount substantially higher than the RDA yet with minimal risk of side effects.

This recommendation can be met through food if the diet includes at least several servings of vitamin C-rich fruit and vegetables as part of the daily recommended fruit and vegetable intake . Most multivitamin supplements provide at least 60 mg of vitamin C.

Older adults

Originally written in 2000 by:Jane Higdon, Ph.D.

Reviewed in December 2018 by:Anitra C. Carr, Ph.D.Department of Pathology & Biomedical ScienceUniversity of Otago

Copyright 2000-2021 Linus Pauling Institute

Can Calcium Supplements Cause Kidney Stones

Can calcium supplements cause kidney stones? To understand this, you should know that calcium oxalate stones form when urine becomes highly concentrated. The calcium oxalate contains forms crystals and stones. It can occur due to lesser intake of water or taking foods rich in oxalates like spinach, French fries, chocolates, beet, and nuts.

Calcium by itself is not the one that can form a stone. If you start consuming fewer amounts of calcium then the body starts dissolving bones to release calcium and maintain adequate amounts in the blood. This leads to excess excretion in urine and crystallization to form stones.

Again the same question Can calcium supplements cause kidney stones? So, According to various studies, the higher the amount of Dietary Calcium to consume, the lesser chances of calcium stones. However, if along with dietary intake of calcium, calcium supplements are taken, it increases the chances of kidney stones. Why this difference?

The answer is that the calcium presents in food cones with dietary oxalate and is excreted in the feces without being passing and absorbed as crystals in the urine. If you consume calcium supplements without food, then these supplements cannot bind with oxalate in the intestines. So, the food and the supplements are available to be passed in urine and form crystals and stones.

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Vitamin C In High Doses Related To Kidney Stone Formation In Men

Three-dimensional reconstructed CT scan image of a ureteral stent in a 26-year-old male. There is a kidney stone in the pyelum of the lower pole and one in the ureter beside the stent .

If you are a person who believes in moderation, and that less is sometimes better, you may want to take note of some recent research published in JAMA Internal Medicine regarding the role of high dose vitamin C and kidney stone formation in men.

In this article, researchers in Sweden established a link between the use of vitamin C and development of kidney stones in more than 23,000 men over an 11 year period. During this prospective observational cohort study, about 2 % of the men developed kidney stones. It turns out that those who reported taking vitamin C supplements were about two times more likely to have suffered from kidney stones. Taking standard multivitamins did not appear to elevate the risk.

The normal requirement for vitamin C intake for a man is 90 mg a day, while the average woman needs only 75 mg a day. Vitamin C is integral for skin, bone and connective tissue health, and also helps the body to absorb iron. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, as well as red peppers and papaya. Vitamin C supplements can potentially supply us with up to 10 times the recommended daily requirement.

Taking Supplements In High Doses May Lead To Kidney Stones

Too much of this vitamin can lead to kidney stones!

Excess vitamin C is excreted from the body as oxalate, a bodily waste product.

Oxalate typically exits the body via urine. However, under some circumstances, oxalate may bind to minerals and form crystals that can lead to the formation of kidney stones .

Consuming too much vitamin C has the potential to increase the amount of oxalate in your urine, thus increasing the risk of developing kidney stones .

In one study that had adults take a 1,000-mg vitamin C supplement twice daily for 6 days, the amount of oxalate they excreted increased by 20% .

High vitamin C intake is not only associated with greater amounts of urinary oxalate but also linked to the development of kidney stones, especially if you consume amounts greater than 2,000 mg (


Consuming too much vitamin C may increase the amount of oxalate in your kidneys, which has the potential to lead to kidney stones.

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How Much Is Too Much

The tolerable upper limit of vitamin C has been established at 2,000 mg per day for adults, which means that most adults can tolerate this amount without harmful side effects. All of the studies referenced above found adverse effects at doses higher. That being said, if you have a condition like hemochromatosis, where theres already an increased risk of iron accumulation in the body, you should talk to your doctor before taking vitamin C supplements. Similarly, if youre prone to kidney stones, consult your primary care provider about any supplements youre taking.

One way to ensure that youre not over-consuming this vital nutrient is to choose supplements and stay at or near the 100 percent daily value. The recommended daily intake for vitamin C for adult women is 75 mg per day. You can also increase your levels by getting more of it in your diet, which typically has no harmful effects on your health. To do it, eat more citrus fruits, peppers, strawberries, kiwis, potatoes, and broccoli.

We hope this helps you make a more informed decision about which supplements you should be taking and how much!

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You may eat out a lot but most of us aren’t in that much trouble nutritionally, unless you belong to these categories. For instance, iron deficiency is the most common in pregnant women, said Kong. She also sees a lack of calcium and Vitamin D in the elderly not a good sign as they need those nutrients to build strong bones and avoid osteoporosis.

Vitamin D deficiency is another example. Interestingly, Singaporean women are at risk of not getting enough of this vitamin, not because of their diet, but their skincare routine, said Yeo, citing a Ministry of Health report released in November 2018, which indicated that 40 per cent of Singaporeans lacked the vitamin. It is due to the increased use of sunscreen that lowered the amount of Vitamin D synthesised by the body from sunlight, she said.

When it comes to Vitamin B12 deficiency, it is usually vegans and patients with certain inflammatory bowel disease who are likely to develop it, due to their restricted dietary intake, said Kong. Vitamin B12 is needed for everyone to make new red blood cells and for our nervous system to function optimally.

“When you’re grocery shopping, picking up an energy bar or breakfast cereal, look at the supplement facts panel. If you see 100 per cent of the recommended dietary allowance , you may not need a multivitamin supplement, she said.

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Why Do We Recommend Vitamin C For People With Ckd

Theres no one answer to this question. Vitamin C performs a variety of actions that make it a key nutrient for people with CKD.

Firstly, we know that plasma vitamin C levels are lower in people with CKD which is due to a variety of reasons such as reduced dietary intake for those following low potassium diets, increases levels of oxidative stress and inflammation, proteinuria which causes an increase in urinary loss of vitamin C and use of medications known to deplete vitamin C such as aspirin and diuretics.

Lets dig a little deeper into what some of the key actions of vitamin C are that make it such an important nutrient for those with CKD.

Can Vitamin C Be The Cause Of Kidney Stones

Can Vitamin C Cause Kidney Stones? How Much Vitamin C Per ...

Well, vitamin C cannot actually cause the kidney stones. But, vitamin c kidney stones are a risky affair. A recent study suggests that taking extra supplements of vitamin c with the presence of kidney stones can increase the risk of it double fold. The presence of kidney stones suggests cutting down the consumption of vitamin c supplements. The combination of vitamin c kidney stones is pretty lethal. The risk of vitamin c kidney stones is more in men than in women.

High doses of vitamin c can be dangerous if kidney stones are present as it might increase the number of kidney stones. Extra doses of vitamin c are much dangerous than taking a single dose of a multivitamin as the extra doses of vitamin c can increase the chances of having more vitamin c kidney stones. But, the too much is still not measured it can be said that the dose prescribed by doctors should not be crossed. In a week more than seven tablets of vitamin c should not be consumed if having kidney stones.

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Effects Of Too Much Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which simply means that it can dissolve in water. As opposed to fat-soluble vitamins, which get stored in our fat tissue, the water-soluble ones arent stored in the body, and excesses are excreted through our urine.

The problem, however, arises when the body becomes overloaded with the nutrient, say, if youre taking a high-dosage supplement for an extended period of time. Initial symptoms could include digestive upset and diarrhea, which have been seen in doses higher than 2,000 milligrams per day.

Research also suggests that taking too much vitamin C may harm the kidneys. The reason is that excesses of the nutrient gets excreted through the urine as a waste product called oxalate. When there is a high amount of oxalate in the body, its harder for the kidneys to eliminate, and it can bind to other minerals and create kidney stones. Several studies have shown that taking high-dosage vitamin C supplements both increases oxalate levels and increases the risk of kidney stones. One study even linked some cases of kidney failure to vitamin C supplementation, but this is considered rare.

Limiting Foods With Calcium Oxalate

Kidney stones can consist of many different compounds, including uric acid, struvite, and cysteine. The most common type of kidney stone involves calcium oxalate.

One 2014 study examined nearly 44,000 kidney stones and found that 67% were composed predominately of calcium oxalate.

Doctors usually only recommend restricting oxalate intake to those at a high risk of kidney stones or those with high oxalate levels.

Consuming calcium alongside oxalate-rich foods may reduce the risk of kidney stones by binding the chemicals together before they reach the kidneys.

Foods that contain high levels of oxalate include:

  • grapefruit and cranberry juice

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Megadosing Vitamin C May Injure Kidneys

The megavitamin movement of the 1970s suggested that taking large doses of common vitamins would benefit health. Unfortunately, the alleged benefits may come at a price. A November 2017 update in GeneReviews states that megadosing vitamin C may lead to kidney failure. Surprisingly, even juicing with certain fruits and vegetables may cause this damage.

Many Americans use nutritional supplements to improve their health. As with vitamins, using these dietary aids increases the risk of organ damage. In fact, 1 in 12 people in the U.S. take supplements known to cause kidney damage, according to a March 15 report in the American Journal of Public Health.

Despite these risks, the Food and Drug Administration continues to leave nutritional supplements unregulated. Thus, people must take the initiative and educate themselves about the potential benefits and risks of dietary aids.

A September 2017 review in Food and Chemical Toxicology offers a starting point. This article provides a brief summary of kidney-damaging supplements. The authors suggest avoiding such dietary aids and specifically recommend avoiding excess doses of vitamins A, C and D.

Common Kidney Stone Types

Some Vitamin C may cause Kidney Stones
  • Calcium Oxalate Stones this is the most common type of kidney stone diagnosed in patients. Oxalate is found naturally in many types of foods, including nuts, fruits and vegetables. Metabolic disorders can also increase your bodys levels of calcium oxalate and lead to stones.
  • Struvite Stones develop most often in response to a urinary tract infection and get very big, very quickly.
  • Uric Acid Stones people with gout or those who tend to suffer with chronic dehydration are diagnosed with this type of kidney stone more frequently. A high-protein diet has also been linked to the formation of uric acid stones.
  • Doctors have not determined exactly what causes kidney stones but they are believed to form when your body chemistry water, nutrients and minerals is out of balance. According to the Mayo Clinic, controlling the following factors will help prevent kidney stones.

    Risk Factors

      Family history if someone in your family gets kidney stones, your chances are higher.Adulthood kidney stones can develop at anytime but are most prevalent in the 40 and up age group.Dehydration not getting enough water, especially if you live in a warmer climate or sweat a lot.Diet eating too much fat, sugar, salt or protein can lead to increased risk.Obesity high body fat percentage and a larger waist have been linked to stone formation.Digestive disease or surgery chronic bowel problems and gastric bypass affect your bodys ability to absorb and process calcium and water.

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