Vitamin C and Kidney Stone Risk
This is a potential risk from taking very low doses of vitamin c on a daily
basis. By taking mega doses you are increasing your risk of kidney stones exponentially.
They are not a fun experience.
Taking vitamin C every day DOUBLES the risk of painful kidney stones
- 'Excruciatingly painful' condition affects
12 per cent of men and four per cent of women in the UK
- Some of the vitamin C absorbed by the body
is excreted in urine as oxalate
- This is one of the key components of
Men who take vitamin C supplements every day
double their risk of suffering from kidney stones, new research suggests.
The excruciating condition is on the rise -
and Swedish researchers say a bi-product of the vitamin may be to blame.
Men who took vitamin C supplements at least
once a day had the highest risk of kidney stones.
The condition affects 12 per cent of men and
four per cent of women in the UK.
'It has long been suspected that high doses
of vitamin C may increase the risk of kidney stones, said lead researcher Laura
Thomas, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.
This is because some of the vitamin C
absorbed by the body is excreted in urine as oxalate, one of the key components
of kidney stones.
Stones are made up of tiny crystals, which
can be formed by calcium combining with oxalate.
The study tracked more than 22,000
middle-aged and elderly for 11 years.
The current analysis included 907 men who
said they took regular vitamin C tablets and more than 22,000 who didn't use any
Swedish supplements, like those the study
participants would have taken, typically contain about 1,000 milligrams (mg) of
vitamin C per tablet. Most vitamin C supplements sold in the U.K contain either
500 or 1,000 mg.
A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice
contains around 120mg.
Of the vitamin C users, 3.4 per cent
developed kidney stones for the first time during the study, compared to 1.8 per
cent of non-supplement users.
The findings appear in the journal JAMA
The researchers said hat because there are no
clear benefits tied to taking high-dose vitamin C, people who have had stones in
the past might want to think before taking extra supplements.
But the findings do not mean people shouldn't
get plenty of vitamin C through fruits and vegetables, since the antioxidant is
important for bone and muscle health - and severe deficiency can cause scurvy.
'Vitamin C is an important part of a healthy
diet,' Thomas said. 'Any effect of vitamin C on kidney stone risk is likely to
depend both on the dose and on the combination of nutrients with which it is
STONES: A PAIN WORSE THAN CHILD BIRTH
Kidney stones are stone-like lumps that
can develop in one or both of the kidneys.
The waste products in the blood can
occasionally form crystals that collect inside the kidneys. Over time, the
crystals may build up to form a hard stone-like lump.
After a kidney stone has formed, the body
tries to pass it out in urine. If a stone is small, this may even go
However, it is fairly common for a stone
to block part of the urinary system, such as the ureter (the tube connecting
the kidney to the bladder) or the urethra (the tube through which urine
passes out of the body).
If this happens, it can cause crippling
pain in the back, abdomen or groin, painful urinary infections and in some
cases, kidney failure.
Many people who have suffered kidney
stones describe the pain as 'excruciating' and worse than child birth.
‘Our modern lifestyles are responsible,
particularly because we don’t drink enough water and eat the wrong
foods,’ explains Daron Smith, a consultant urologist at University College
A poor diet and dehydration are major
risk factors (Saudi Arabia has one of the highest kidney stone rates in the
Certain people have higher than average
levels of stone-forming chemicals in their body called oxalate. This means
cutting down coffee, spinach and rhubarb – all of which are high-oxalate