Kidney Stone Mechanism

Traditionally, it was believed that people suffering from Calcium-based kidney stones, should reduce their Calcium intake to avoid the recurrence of the disease. However, recent researches suggest that plenty of Calcium intake actually helps inhibit the formation of stones in the kidneys. Combining with Oxalate in our intestinal tract, Calcium forms Calcium Oxalate which prevents Oxalate absorption in the urinary tract.

Oxalate being a more stronger supporter of stone formation than Calcium, the more we consume Calcium in both dietary and supplementary forms, lesser are the chances of Oxalate absorption, and the subsequent formation of kidney stones.

However, you may not benefit anything by consuming Calcium Carbonate in supplemental form for preventing kidney stone formation. This is because Calcium Carbonate has similar effect on the prevention of kidney stone as it has on Colorectal Cancer. Due to its low absorbability in our stomach, Calcium from Calcium Carbonate cannot bind with oxalate in the intestine, leading to Oxalate absorption in the urinary tract. This in turn, enhances the risk of kidney stone formation. This is further substantiated by researches, which says that intake of elemental Calcium in the form of Calcium Carbonate enhances the risk of kidney stones among healthy post menopausal women.

Sources:

1. Liebman, Michael, and Weiwen Chai. Effect of dietary calcium on urinary oxalate excretion after oxalate loads. Amer J Clin Nutr. 65 : 1453-9.

2.Robertson W.G, Peacock M, Heyburn P.J, Hanes F.A. Epidemiological risk factors in calcium stone disease, Scand J Urol Nephrol Supplement 1980; 53 : 15-30.

3. Massey L.K, Roman-Smith H, Sutton R.A.L. Effect of dietary oxalate and calcium on urinary oxalate and the risk of formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones. J Am Dietet Assoc 1993, 93 : 901-6.

4. Calcium and Kidney Stones, Better Nutrition, August, 2004.
A rocky road : Treating Kidney Stones by Christine Haran. Published on August 8, 2003 .

5. Calcium plus Vitamin D Supplementation and Risk of Fractures NEJ Med. Feb. 2006, 354;7

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