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Calcium Supplements and Kidney Stones

Updated: Dec 10, 2018

Findings of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) has linked calcium supplements to kidney stones. Researchers took a second look at the WHI data on 36,282 postmenopausal women, half of whom were randomly assigned to take 1,000 mg of calcium carbonate and 400 IU of vitamin D for 7 years; the rest got a placebo. Initially the women all averaged about 1,145 mg of daily calcium from diet and supplements, close to the recommended 1,200 mg for women over 50. Those in the supplement group boosted their intake to at least 1,800 mg daily – and were 17% more likely to develop kidney stones than the control group. Calcium is a factor in the formation of most kidney stones, although dietary calcium has also been shown to fight stone formation. An accompanying editorial advised, “Optimal calcium intake can be achieved while minimizing kidney stone risk by the use of dietary calcium sources and the avoidance of calcium supplements.” - American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Source-Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter 7/15/11

**Ladies – It is truly important to get your calcium levels checked by a physician with a 24 hour urine output test. Blood levels don’t tell the whole story.

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