Although greater consumption of dietary calcium may lower the risk of kidney stone recurrence, research presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s (ASN) Kidney Week 2015 in San Diego, suggests that calcium supplementation could actually increase this risk.

Christopher Loftus, MD candidate (Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine), and colleagues identified 1,486 patients with a history of urolithiasis by CT imaging scans and reviewed 24-hour urine collections before and after initiating supplementation with calcium or vitamin D. No difference was seen in stone composition between the groups.

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Patients taking calcium supplementation had lower total urinary calcium and oxalate excretion, while serum levels were not affected. Calcium supplementation was also associated with an increased rate of stone growth, while vitamin D decreased urinary calcium excretion and stone growth.

“While taking supplemental calcium has associated positive effects, these results suggest that supplemental, as compared with dietary, calcium may worsen stone disease for patients,” added Loftus.

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