Vitamin D and the Myth of the Kidney Stone

If the fear of kidney stones is preventing you from taking vitamin D supplements, you have nothing to worry about. Vitamin D supplements do not cause kidney stones.

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WHAT ARE KIDNEY STONES?

Kidney stones are hard, crystallized deposits made of salts and minerals, such as calcium and phosphate, which form inside the kidneys. Often these stones become stuck in the urinary tract which results in incredible pain.

There are many known causes for these deposits, including drinking too little water and eating foods high in purines – a chemical compound that occurs naturally in your body but is also found in foods and drinks, such as beer and other yeasty beverages.

Some doctors think that because vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, higher levels can lead to kidney stones made of calcium.

But there is something missing about this claim: evidence. Simply put, there is no evidence that vitamin D contributes to kidney stones formation. Dozens of well-designed studies support this.

A 2013 study by doctors from Creighton University, Grassroots Health, and the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine looked at 2,012 adults and found no association between safe, high levels of vitamin D and kidney stones. Instead, age, weight, and gender were important factors for kidney stone formation.

A 2016 meta-analysis (a method for combining data from multiple studies) by New Zealand researchers included 19,833 participants and again found no connection between vitamin D supplementation dose or duration and kidney stones.

The largest study to look at vitamin D and the risk of kidney stones came out of Harvard Medical School. These scientist studied a whopping 45,616 individuals over a 14 year period. What did they find? You got it - no increased risk of kidney stones with vitamin D.

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REDUCE THE RISK OF DISEASE

What evidence has shown is that a vitamin D level of 100 to 125 nmol/L is needed to substantially reduce the risk of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

Source: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism

Not only do high levels of vitamin D not cause kidney stones, two studies published last year have shown that people with low levels of the vitamin are more than twice as likely to develop a kidney stone!

These new studies reveal that the old myth of vitamin D leading to kidney stones is unfounded.

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At Pure North S’Energy Foundation, we regularly sample your blood levels to ensure that you safely reach and maintain your optimal vitamin D levels.

To learn more about Pure North S’Energy Foundation visit our website at www.purenorth.ca or visit one of our clinics.

Research and References

Nguyen S, Baggerly L, French C, Heaney RP, Gorham ED, Garland CF. 2013. 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the range of 20 to 100 ng/mL and incidence of kidney stones. American Journal of Public Health, 104: 1783-1787.

Malihi Z, Wu Z, Stewart AW, Lawes CM, Scragg R. 2016. Hypercalcemia, hypercalciuria, and kidney stones in long-term studies on vitamin D supplementation: a systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 104: 1039-1051.

Taylor EN, Stampfer MJ, Curhan GC. 2004. Dietary factors and the risk of incident kidney stones in men: new insights after 14 years of follow-up. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 15: 3225-3232.

Girón-Prieto MS, Del Carmen Cano-Garcia M, Arrabal-Polo MÁ, Poyatos-Andujar A, Quesada-Charneco M, de Haro-Muñoz T, Arias-Santiago S, Arrabal-Martin M. 2016. Analysis of vitamin D deficiency in calcium stone-forming patients. International Urology and Nephrology, 48: 1234-1236.

Ticinesi A, Nouvenne A, Ferraro PM, Folesani G, Laurentani F, Allegri F, Guerra A, Cerundolo N, Aloe R, Lippi G, Maggio M, Gambaro G, Borghi L, Meschi L. 2016. Idiopathic calcium nephrolithiasis and hypovitaminosis D: a case control study. Urology, 87: 40-45.

Mirhosseini N, Vatanparast H, Mazidi M, Kimball SM. Accepted for publication on July 3rd, 2017. The effect of improved serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D status on glycemic control in diabetic patients: a meta-analysis. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 17 pp.

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