Calcium supplements may boost risk of kidney stones, according to the findings of a new study conducted on 2,060 patients.
Calcium supplements are under increased scrutiny from the medical community lately. It seems that calcium intake from dietary sources is indeed helpful and helps both with the prevention of kidney stones forming, as well as with bone density. However, calcium supplement intake, particularly with people that didn’t discuss this with their physician may become problematic.
The new study links calcium supplements intake with a higher risk of kidney stones formation. For people who have a history of developing kidney stones, these findings are of particular interest. Nonetheless, MD candidate Christopher Loftus with the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and lead author of the study advises those who are taking calcium supplements on prescription to not cease unless their physician advises them to.
The findings will be presented during the American Society of Nephrology meeting, taking place next month in San Diego. Following, the data should be peer-reviewed and published.
Calcium supplements may boost risk of kidney stones due to the fact that calcium is one of the substances helping their formation. In addition to calcium, uric acid and oxalate are building up the stones. Dietary calcium does little too spike the risk of kidney stone formation as it is typically associated with other beneficial substances.
Previous research on the matter has suggested that calcium intake has in fact the opposite effect. It prevents kidney stones from forming. However, according to Doctor Mathew Sorensen, assistant professor of urology with the University of Washington, what previous studies refer to is dietary calcium, not supplements.
The research for this study was conducted using CT scans of the 2,060 participating patients. Of these, 417 were instructed to only take vitamin D. 1,500 patients took calcium supplements, while the rest acted as a control group.
The results indicate that calcium supplements boost the risk of kidney stones in a much larger percentage than dietary calcium intake.
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