Does Vitamin C Cause Kidney Stones?

Does Vitamin C Cause Kidney Stones?

I am often asked by patients whether or not high doses of vitamin C causes kidney stones, so I wanted to write a blog entry on this topic in order to clear vitamin C’s name!

What Started It All

Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, there were a few case reports that ascorbic acid (vitamin C) metabolized to oxalate and that high doses of vitamin C caused increases in serum and urine oxalate.  One study published in the early 1970s regarding a case report of a man who produced excessive amounts of oxalate hypothesized that if he consumed large doses of ascorbic acid, he might have a higher risk of forming oxalate kidney stones.

What Actually Happened

It was later found that the earlier papers claiming that people taking high doses of vitamin C had increased serum and urine oxalate levels was due to an oversight in the laboratory method.  The studies who found an increase in urine oxalate levels used a laboratory method that involved heating urine for 30 minutes at 100˚C.  Alternatively, when the heating method is not used, a significant increase in urine oxalate levels was not found.

It’s quite interesting how a rumbling of a thought can snow-ball out of control into a rampant rumour, even in the science world!


** Please note that this is NOT medical advice and that you should talk to your healthcare provider before taking this supplement


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Here are a few more posts on supplements that you might also be interested in:




  • Briggs MH, Garcia-Webb P & Davies P.  Urinary oxalate and vitamin-C supplements.  Lancet.  1973; 2: 201.
  • Fituri L, Allawi N, Bentley M, et al.  Urinary and plasma oxalate during ingestion of pure ascorbic acid: a re-evaluation.  Eur Urol.  1983; 9: 312-315.




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