Taking These Vitamins Can Reduce Your Risk Of Kidney Stones

If you've ever suffered from passing a kidney stone, you'll likely do anything to avoid that kind of pain again. You may already know that staying hydrated and reducing your intake of high-oxalate foods like spinach and dark chocolate can be helpful for preventing kidney stones (via Harvard Medical School). But did you also know certain vitamins and supplements can also reduce your risk? Let's take a look at what health researchers have learned about the impacts of supplemental vitamins on kidney stone prevention. Note: always check with your healthcare team before starting any new vitamin or supplement regimen, as this information is not meant to diagnose or treat any conditions.

One promising study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that high doses of vitamin B6 (10-500 mg/day) reduced stone formation and rates of stone recurrence in women. However, these findings were not found to be beneficial for men. The same group of researchers attempted to study the link between vitamin C and stone formation. The only association they found linking increased vitamin C to reduced instances of kidney stones was in a population of women who self-reported a 10% lowered historical risk of kidney stone formation. Again, the studies failed to support a risk reduction for men.

Other supplements that show potential

Calcium supplementation could be beneficial for those who are at high risk of kidney stones, according to one group of researchers out of Brazil. These researchers had a study published in 2010 in the journal Nutrients. They looked at bariatric surgery patients, a population at high risk of kidney stone formation, and the relationship between supplements and kidney stones. Their findings suggested that calcium citrate, a calcium supplement, taken at 1,200-1,500mg/day could reduce stone formation. Calcium citrate is widely available, easily absorbed, and can be taken on an empty stomach (via Harvard Medical School).

Another group of health experts found that potassium citrate supplementation carried a great deal of promise in stone risk-reduction. Their study, published in Endotext, found that in conjunction with lifestyle modifications, such as reduced salt intake and moderating animal protein intake, potassium citrate supplementation significantly reduced calcium kidney stone formation. Additionally, they found that potassium citrate actually dissolved uric acid stones (accounting for roughly 8-10% of all kidney stones).