The Role Of Vitamin C In Preventing And Dissolving Kidney Stones
The calcium phosphate kidney stone can only exist in a urinary tract that is not acidic. Ascorbic acid acidifies the urine, thereby dissolving phosphate stones and preventing their formation.
Acidic urine will also dissolve magnesium ammonium phosphate stones, which would otherwise require surgical removal. These are the same struvite stones associated with urinary tract infections. Both the infection and the stone are easily cured with vitamin C in large doses. Both are virtually 100% preventable with daily consumption of much-greater-than-RDA amounts of ascorbic acid. A gorilla gets about 4,000 mg of vitamin C a day in its natural diet. The US RDA for humans is only 90 mg. The gorillas are unlikely to all be wrong.
The common calcium oxalate stone can form in an acidic urine whether one takes vitamin C or not. However, this type of stone can be prevented by adequate quantities of B-complex vitamins and magnesium. Any common B-complex supplement, twice daily, plus about 400 milligrams of magnesium, is usually adequate.
Assessment Of Kidney Stones
Participants who reported an incident kidney stone were asked to complete a supplementary questionnaire about the date of occurrence and associated signs and symptoms such as pain or hematuria. A kidney stone associated with pain or hematuria was the study outcome. Medical record validation studies confirmed the kidney stone diagnosis in more than 95% of cases among participants who submitted the supplementary questionnaire. Stone composition was available in a subsample of the cases and found to be 50% calcium oxalate in 77% of NHS I, 79% of NHS II and 86% of HPFS participants.
Difference Between Dr Linus Pauling’s Recommendations And The Lpi’s Recommendation For Vitamin C Intake
Dr. Pauling, for whom the Linus Pauling Institute has great respect, based his own recommendations for vitamin C largely on theoretical arguments. In developing his recommendations, he used cross-species comparisons, evolutionary arguments, the concept of biochemical individuality, and the amount of vitamin C likely consumed in a raw plant food diet. Using this approach, Dr. Pauling suggested in the early 1970s that the optimum daily intake may be about 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C and that everyone should get at least 200 to 250 mg/day. In a 1974 radio interview, he noted that “the first 250 mg is more important than any later 250 mg. The first 250 mg leads you up to the level where the blood is saturated. You can achieve a higher volume in the blood by a larger intake, but you get much better improvement for the first 250 mg than for additional grams.” Dr. Pauling significantly increased his recommendation in his 1986 book How To Live Longer and Feel Better. At the Linus Pauling Institute, we have based our vitamin C recommendations on the current body of scientific evidence, which is significantly greater than it was at Pauling’s time but remains incomplete owing to the many diverse functions of vitamin C in the human body that have yet to be fully understood.
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Vitamin C And Kidney Stones : Does Vitamin C Cause Kidney Stones
Functions of Vitamin C
Human body requires vitamin C for development and maintenance of connective tissues to keep the skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage well connected together. Vitamin C also assists in preventing oxidation of essential fatty acids and is useful in treating and preventing iron-deficiency anemia. A body that does not have sufficient vitamin C has poor wound healing abilities, causes easy bruising, muscle weakness, joint pain, bleeding gums or inflammatory conditions of the gums, loose teeth, etc. This form of ascorbic acid is water soluble and found in several fruits and vegetables naturally. Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, grapefruits papaya, strawberries, kiwi fruit vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli, kale, green peppers have more vitamin C levels naturally and is also found as a preservative in many processed food products.
Vitamin C Causes Calcium Oxalate Kidney Stones
Men require more of this vitamin form than women. The minimum requirement among the male population is around 90 mg and 75 mg for women in a given day. To promote optimum health, however, at least 400 mg per day is required with an increase in its requirement in those who are regular smokers, more into active sports, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Vitamin C to Cure Struvite Kidney Stones & Uric Acid Stones
Why There A Risk Of Taking High Doses Of Vitamin C
High doses of vitamin c should be avoided if having calcium oxalate kidney stones. Vitamin c kidney stones can be a risk factor as the high doses would not be beneficial rather dangerous if must say. Moreover, men who consume high doses of vitamin c are at a higher risk of developing some more painful kidney stones than men who do not consume vitamin c supplements at all. Sometimes, vitamin c is the prior reason behind having painful kidney stones, as clarified by some clinical researchers and their studies.
As a result, a large amount of vitamin c can be harmful to the kidney, at least, if not for the body. Women have a lower risk of getting vitamin c kidney stones than men. So, the medical studies are more inclined towards men who suffer from higher doses of vitamin c kidney stones than women. The part of the vitamin c kidney stones is oxalate and higher doses of vitamin c supply to that element. It is very important to consult the doctor before taking higher doses of vitamin c.
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Too Much Vitamin C Can Cause Kidney Stones Are You Popping Supplements Safely
Nutrition experts tell CNA Lifestyle why multivitamins aren’t always your best bet and which common notions about health supplements are actually false.
Not every Singaporean would consider himself or herself a hypochondriac but it does seem that a lot of us love our vitamins and supplements.
Thats probably because there seems to be a pill available for everything from boosting memory and easing aching joints to improving heart function and blood pressure levels to aiding digestion and supporting pregnancy .
Take, for instance, that cold you think is coming on. You might reach for a Vitamin C or zinc tablet for an immunity boost. Busy individuals may also pop multivitamins in an attempt to fill nutritional gaps in their diets.
But do you really need these supplements? According to Yeo Qi Mei, a dietitian with Tan Tock Seng Hospitals Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, our nutritional requirements should ideally come from a varied and balanced diet made up of whole foods which could be a cheaper and tasteful alternative.
Having said that, Yeo added that there are situations when these health in a bottle solutions may be handy.
She cited, as examples, elevated nutritional needs during pregnancy, Vitamin D supplementation for the elderly, vegetarians at risk of iron deficiency, or individuals who have had stomach or small intestine surgery, and require specific or multivitamin supplementations, she said.
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Limit High Oxalate Content Foods
When preparing your kidney-friendly diet, you must limit foods and beverages that contain a high amount of calcium oxalates in it. Foods such as beets, nuts, berries, spinach, and drinks like tea possess a high amount of calcium oxalates that can lead to the formation of kidney stones and further cause difficulty in the passing of urine. It is recommended that you consume and combine foods such as yogurt, cheese and other milk products that are rich in calcium with foods that are rich in oxalates, like these, both will bind one another in the intestine itself and will prevent itself from entering the kidneys and forming stones there.
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What Really Causes Kidney Stones
A recent widely-publicized study claimed that vitamin C supplements increased the risk of developing kidney stones by nearly a factor of two. The study stated that the stones were most likely formed from calcium oxalate, which can be formed in the presence of vitamin C , but it did not analyze the kidney stones of participants. Instead, it relied on a different study of kidney stones where ascorbate was not tested. This type of poorly organized study does not help the medical profession or the public, but instead causes confusion.
The study followed 23,355 Swedish men for a decade. They were divided into two groups, one that did not take any supplements , and another that took supplements of vitamin C . The average diet for each group was tabulated, but not in much detail. Then the participants who got kidney stones in each group were tabulated, and the group that took vitamin C appeared to have a greater risk of kidney stones. The extra risk of kidney stones from ascorbate presented in the study is very low, 147 per 100,000 person-years, or only 0.15% per year.
Key points the media missed:
So we have a poorly designed study that did not determine what kind of stone was formed, or what caused the stones that were formed. These are serious flaws. Drawing conclusions from such a study can hardly be a good example of “evidence based medicine.”
Monitoring The Intake Of High Acid Foods
Highly acidic urine can increase the risk of uric acid kidney stones and make passing them more painful.
High amounts of acid in the urine also encourage the kidneys to reabsorb citrate rather than excrete it. Citrate is a compound that can help flush out calcium-based stones, as well as impair their growth.
Highly acidic foods include:
According to the National Kidney Foundation, almost 1 in 10 people in the United States develop a kidney stone during their lifetime. The risk is around 19% for men and 9% for women.
Most men experience their first kidney stone after the age of 30 years.
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What You Should Know About Kidney Stones
Every year, more than a half-million Americans are admitted to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems. Kidney stones are a serious but common condition causing severe pain and an increased risk of infection.
Known formally as renal calculus or nephroliths, kidney stones are a collection of minerals that build up inside the kidney. When chunks of the material break loose, they wash into the ureter and then the bladder, finally leaving the body through urination.
Symptoms of kidney stones can include severe pain in the back, lower abdomen, and side difficulty, burning, or pain during urination and blood in the urine or low urine volume. An urgent need to urinate and a stop-start of urine flow, as well as nausea and vomiting can also be indicators of kidney stones.
Many tiny stones can pass without any symptoms at all. But sometimes the mass is large enough to block the ureter, the tube connecting the kidney and bladder, and pain will increase in the back, side, and groin as the stones make their way out. If they dont make it out on their own, the pain can become excruciating, often compared to that of childbirth, and the stones must be surgically removed.
Here are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of kidney stones.
Taking Too Much Vitamin C Could Lead To Kidney Stones
Many of us are looking for ways to boost our immune system to protect ourselves from COVID-19, so we are turning to supplements.
But, some of those supplements cause other major issues. You may have it in your cabinet right now: vitamin C.
It’s supposed to help with all kinds of things by boosting your immune system, but doctors warn taking too much can also lead to kidney stones.
Dr. David Hernandez is a urologist and professor for USF Health. He says vitamin C is good for you, but it’s best to get it from your diet.
“There are some studies suggesting that not dietary, but supplemental vitamin C at doses more than a gram a day, a thousand milligrams a day, can increase your risk for stones because of the effect of the oxalate levels in your urine increasing,” Hernandez said.
He suggests people get their daily dose from the foods they eat.
“In general a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, preferably lean meats and things like that, you’re going to get everything,” Hernandez said.
Video: Taking too much vitamin C could lead to kidney stones
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People With Impaired Kidney Function Should Be Cautious If Supplementing
Often, reports implicating Vitamin C in kidney stone formation document the case of a single person that had other risk factors. Dr. Levy urges caution to anyone with kidney disease or malfunction when supplementing with anything, including Vitamin C:
Would it be possible to cause calcium oxalate stone disease in an otherwise normal person with enough vitamin C? Possibly, but it would almost have to involve a situation in which substantial dehydration and/or several other of the risk factors noted above were already present. Vitamin C, as with many other nutrients and medications, should always be accompanied by generous hydration. High solute intake with low urine volume will always increase concentrations of everything present, inviting crystal precipitation.
Linus Pauling Institute Recommendation
Combined evidence from metabolic, pharmacokinetic, and observational studies, and from randomized controlled trials supports consuming sufficient vitamin C to achieve plasma concentrations of at least 60 mol/L. While most generally healthy young adults can achieve these plasma concentrations with daily vitamin C intake of at least 200 mg/day, some individuals may have a lower vitamin C absorptive capacity than what is currently documented. Thus, the Linus Pauling Institute recommends a vitamin C intake of 400 mg daily for adults to ensure replete tissue concentrations an amount substantially higher than the RDA yet with minimal risk of side effects.
This recommendation can be met through food if the diet includes at least several servings of vitamin C-rich fruit and vegetables as part of the daily recommended fruit and vegetable intake . Most multivitamin supplements provide at least 60 mg of vitamin C.
Originally written in 2000 by:Jane Higdon, Ph.D.
Reviewed in December 2018 by:Anitra C. Carr, Ph.D.Department of Pathology & Biomedical ScienceUniversity of Otago
Copyright 2000-2021 Linus Pauling Institute
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What Foods Are Linked To Kidney Stones
Certain foods, when eaten in excess, can cause various kinds of kidney stones. Your diet may contribute to kidney stone formation if it dehydrates you, promotes the growth of crystal-forming materials, or both.
Note that not all foods linked to kidney stones are unhealthy, or necessary to avoid altogether. While its essential to eat a balanced, nutritious diet, you may need more complex, specific guidance from your doctor to prevent kidney stones while getting the nourishment you need.
Trouble foods for different kidney stones include:
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We Need Daily Intake Of 1000 Mg Of Calcium
An adult needs 800 to 1000 milligrams of calcium per day. In addition to the daily diet, the easiest and most direct way to supplement calcium is to take calcium tablets. Proper doses of calcium tablets will not cause kidney stones because calcium will bind with oxalic acid in the small intestine, forming insoluble calcium oxalate and then excreted in the faeces. In contrast, if calcium intake is reduced to avoid kidney stones, this will cause an increase in the rate of oxalic acid absorption in the small intestine and in the urine, which in turn will increase the risk of kidney stones. In addition, when choosing calcium tablets, many people prefer calcium tablets containing vitamin D, or vitamin D supplements. This will lead to a large increase in calcium absorption in the small intestine, calcium excreted through the urine also increased, and easy to form calcium oxalate in the small intestine, and increase the risk of kidney stones eventually. Therefore, proper calcium supplements plus low oxalic acid, low sodium , low animal protein diets, and adequate daily drinking water are needed to avoid kidney stones.
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Prevention Of Future Stones
Once your health care provider finds out why you are forming stones, he or she will give you tips on how to prevent them. This may include changing your diet and taking certain medications. There is no âone-size-fits-allâ diet for preventing kidney stones. Everyone is different. Your diet may not be causing your stones to form. But there are dietary changes that you can make to stop stones from continuing to form.
Drink enough fluids each day.
If you are not producing enough urine, your health care provider will recommend you drink at least 3 liters of liquid each day. This equals about 3 quarts . This is a great way to lower your risk of forming new stones. Remember to drink more to replace fluids lost when you sweat from exercise or in hot weather. All fluids count toward your fluid intake. But itâs best to drink mostly no-calorie or low-calorie drinks. This may mean limiting sugar-sweetened or alcoholic drinks.
Knowing how much you drink during the day can help you understand how much you need to drink to produce 2.5 liters of urine. Use a household measuring cup to measure how much liquid you drink for a day or two. Drink from bottles or cans with the fluid ounces listed on the label. Keep a log, and add up the ounces at the end of the day or 24-hour period. Use this total to be sure you are reaching your daily target urine amount of at least 85 ounces of urine daily.
Reduce the amount of salt in your diet.
Eat the recommended amount of calcium.