Can Calcium Supplements Cause Kidney Stones! Let’s Find the Truth

Divya Tripathi

, Health A2Z

We always asked to drink lots of milk since our childhood. Do you the reason for the same? yes, calcium is good for our bone density and inadequate intake leads to poor bone health and increased risk of bone thinning (osteoporosis)fractures.


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We need to intake a certain amount of calcium on daily basis. Our daily intake of calcium is depended upon our age and gender. But have you ever think can calcium supplements cause kidney stones? So, let’s explore and find out the solution to this problem.


As per the health guidelines, the daily intake of calcium in females less than 50 years and men less than 70 years is 1000mg /day. After the age of 50 in women and 70 in men, the daily intake increased and reached by 1200 mg/day.


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.


So, what to do?


  • Do not restrict the consumption of dietary calcium available in dairy products. You should intake a sufficient amount of calcium that is sufficient to bind the oxalates in the intestine and oxalates to leave the body through the feces instead of forming crystals and stones in the urine.


  •  Do not reduce the amount of calcium or its supplements prescribed by your doctor for bone health, especially in menopausal women.


  • Always remember to consume the supplements along with food.


  • Drink sufficient amounts of water 6-8 glasses/day.


  • Cut down the intake of table salt in diet as it increases calcium excretion in urine.


  • The intake of caffeine can also be reduced as it increases calcium excretion in urine.


  • Animal proteins can also cut off.


  • Don’t reduce the intake of oxalate-containing foods as it is not good from an overall health perspective. Instead, take oxalate and calcium-containing foods together in the diet.


  • Take lemon with water without salt or sugar. Citrate in lemon helps in reducing stone formation.


  • If taking calcium supplements, if you have a history of kidney stones, then calcium citrate salt may be preferred over calcium carbonate salt as citrate is a natural inhibitor of stones.


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Simple Ways to Avoid Kidney Stones


Have you ever had a kidney stone? If yes, then you surely remember that unbearable pain. The pain of kidney stones coming in waves until the tiny stone passes out of the body. It’s very common that kidney stones occur again. Around 50% of the people who have had one, another appears within seven years without preventive measures.


Here are the five ways to help prevent kidney stones:


Drink plenty of water


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Drinking an ample amount of water helps to dilute the substances in urine that lead to stones. Drink enough fluids to pass 2 liters of urine a day, which can be around eight standard 8-ounce cups.  Some citrus beverages, like lemonade and orange juice, may help to do so. The citrate available in these beverages can be helpful to block stone formation.


Eat Calcium-Rich Foods


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As we already discussed while discussing can calcium supplements cause kidney stones that dietary calcium helps to binds to oxalate. That is used to decreases the amount of oxalate which is absorbed into the bloodstream and then excreted by the kidney.


Reduce Sodium



Food items that contain a high-sodium diet can increase your risk of developing kidney stones due to the high amount of calcium in your urine. So, if you are stone prone then you should follow a low-sodium diet. According to the current guidelines, your daily sodium intake should not more than 2,300 mg. If you have a history of kidney stones in the past, try to reduce your daily intake to 1,500 mg. This will also be good for your blood pressure and heart.


Limit Animal Protein


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Consumption of excess animal protein, such as poultry, red meat, eggs, and seafood, boosts can increase uric acid that can also lead to kidney stones. If you’re prone to stones, limit your daily meat intake to a quantity that is no bigger than a pack of playing cards. This is also a heart-healthy portion.


Avoid Stone-Forming Foods


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Some stone-forming foods such as chocolate, beets, spinach, rhubarb, tea, and most nuts are rich in oxalate. These food items can contribute to kidney stones. If you have a history of stone or you are having stone then your doctor may suggest you avoid such food items.




Here we have discussed can calcium supplements cause kidney stones? Along with some simple ways to prevent kidney stones. So, here it is clear that kidney stones are not caused due to calcium intake. But if you have a previous history of kidney stones then there are chances to come back. Then keep all the preventive measures in your mind and discuss with the doctor for the same.


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