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Effect of vitamin D supplementation among “kidney stone formers”

Posted on: March 24, 2012   by  John Cannell, MD


“If I have kidney stones, should I take vitamin D?” A recent study looked directly at this question in “stone formers,” who are people with a history of repetitive kidney stones. Dr. David Leaf of Columbia University Medical Center and a group of colleagues from Boston to Portland conducted this study on stone formers, who were also vitamin D deficient. If vitamin D causes kidney stones (a common belief), then how exactly do you treat vitamin D deficient stone formers?

Leaf DE, Korets R, Taylor EN, Tang J, Asplin JR, Goldfarb DS, Gupta M, Curhan GC. Effect of Vitamin D Repletion on Urinary Calcium Excretion among Kidney Stone Formers. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2012 Mar 15.

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7 Responses to Effect of vitamin D supplementation among “kidney stone formers”

  1. [email protected]

    Vitamin D might cause Kidney Stones WHEN you have you are taking an excessive amount of calcium. Easy to remember: 500 Calcium and 500 Magnesium
    Most people need to reduce Calcium and increase Magnesium
    See the many studies and graphs at

  2. [email protected]

    Interesting, here comes patient case no 30.
    But first, please tell me why are they using D2 in all studies?

    I have been a stone former since more than 26 years. I have been through painful stone attacks, horrible laxations for X-rays – I do not want to remember, really. Finaly, the conclusion; I am a cronical stone former, my body can make my urine acid, but might not do so …
    If I collect 24-hour urine, especially the night portion is really loaded with crystals, maybe I should make a new 24 hour collection of urine? just for fun …

    Treatment was/is magnesium, I used our normal prescription-magnesium in Sweden, MgOH + drinking lots of water, at least 3 litres/24 hours. I kept myself stone-free ever since. But when I look back, I might have solved the problem in another way? About twelve years ago, I chained my way of eating, due to an accident, so I now eat a low carb, high fat, paleo style diet with plenty of SFA. I kept on with the water drinking and the magnesium. At least since 1995 I took 800 IU D3 + Ca 1000 mg, in year 2006, I started with 6000 IU D3, was observant about the kidney stones, also I learned that vitamin D would give me more stones! … about 2009, I started taking 50 000 IU D3 once a week.
    I changed my Mg about a yeaar ago, to a dolomite powder, means 3 gram = 5 mL = 660 mg Ca and 390 g Mg
    I take 6 g a day.

    I am still free of the kidney stones. I really do love the “N=1” self expriments, but it´s too painful even to remember, the kidney stones. But my change to a better diet, to the optimal diet might have cured me? Interesting thought.

    But as far as I am concerned, vitamin D3, in high doses do not give me back my kidney stones. I will not stop taking D3, as wonderful things happened to me, thanks to D3 and of course keep up with Mg (+ Ca), as I have a cronical nerve damage problem, that also needs the Mg

  3. steve


    Is there any chance that you had sleep apnea and you treated it by losing weight with your better diet? There is some evidence that sleep apnea leads to stone formation and you mentioned that you had more stones in your nighttime urine collection.

  4. Tom


    Do not forget the primiive dietary inputs of human beings while evolving in the Congo for 5-7 million years. Fifty percent of the diet was fruit, and equatorial fruit contains more potassium citrate and potasium citrate prevents kidney stones.

    Can lemon juice be an alternative to potassium citrate in the treatment of urinary calcium stones in patients with hypocitraturia? A prospective randomized study
    B Aras, N Kalfazade, V Tuğcu, E Kemahlı… – Urological …, 2008 – Springer

    We suggest that lemon juice can be an alternative in the treatment of urinary calcium stones in patients with hypocitraturia. Additionally, dietary recommendations can increase effectiveness of the treatment.

    I suspect that stone formers have a higher primitive biological need for natural potassium citrate found in citrus which grows where humans evolved.

    Tom Olenio

  5. [email protected]

    First, thank you for comments and new ideas

    Steve, no, no , I do not sleep on my back, I had none och still don´t have any sleep apnea.
    I had no overweight back then. I got these damned kidney stones 1985? I changed my diet because I got my nerve damaged in year 2000, couldn´t move like I did before and when I realised I had put on some weight, I knew I had to do someting, and here comes my lifestyle change, the same year. All I did back in 1985 was to take magnesium. But I think both my parents had kidney stones. Both dead, sorry.

    Tom, I do not know. Maybe I should try to get the results from the tests made, if they still excists? But I made some kind of test, the acidation-test and several 24-hours urine collectings, I do not remember the results, but really very much crystals and not only calcium, that I remember. After I had been in the “stone-cross”, the popular name of Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) I learned my lessons and have been free ever since.

    It is very painful and I promised myself, no more laxation, no more X-rays …
    I know I should be more curious , stop taking Mg and see what happens, but I can´t
    My nerve damage gives me cramps and very much extra pain if I do not take my magnesium. In periods I have been taking extra potassium, to minimize the cramps, but not the citrate-form.
    I know that we had potassium citrate as a prescription drug before, maybe I should check it up? try it?

    Thanks, regards Elisabeth

  6. [email protected]

    Sorry, also thank you … [email protected]
    I will take more Mg, just have to read about which one to buy, what combination, citrate?
    I have spent hours with this dilemma, too many opinions when it comes to Mg

  7. [email protected]

    Overview Magnesium and vitamin D is at
    It reviews all of the different kinds of Magnesium supplements
    – there are huge differences between them.
    Quick summary: 2 tablets of Magnesium Citrate to get 400 mg (of the Element, not the compound) is pretty good
    If Magnesium Citrate causes loose stools, there are many other forms such as Magnesium Malate
    Avoid the standard Magnesium Oxide – not very bio-available

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