Effect of High and Low Calcium Diets on Stone Forming Risk During Liberal Oxalate Intake
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PURPOSE: Recent studies suggest that a high calcium diet protects against calcium oxalate stone formation. We compared the effect of high and low calcium diets on urinary saturation of calcium oxalate during liberal oxalate intake. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 10 healthy subjects (5 male, 5 female) participated in a 2-phase, randomized, crossover study comparing high (1,000 mg daily) and low (400 mg daily) calcium intake on a liberal oxalate diet (200 mg daily). During each phase subjects adhered to an instructed diet for 3 days followed by a controlled, metabolic diet for 4 days. Blood and 24-hour urine specimens collected on the last 2 days of each phase were analyzed for serum biochemistry studies and stone risk factors, respectively. RESULTS: Urinary calcium was higher (mean +/- SD 171 +/- 64 vs 124 +/- 49 mg daily, p = 0.002) and oxalate was lower (25 +/- 4.8 vs 27 +/- 4 mg daily, p = 0.02) on the high vs low calcium diet. Overall, the urinary relative saturation ratio of calcium oxalate was higher on the high compared with the low calcium diet (3.3 vs 2.5, p <0.0001) even after adjusting for confounding variables. CONCLUSIONS: In normal subjects urinary saturation of calcium oxalate was higher on a high calcium diet than a low calcium diet during liberal oxalate intake because the decrease in urinary oxalate did not overcome the effect of increased calcium. A high calcium diet during liberal oxalate intake may pose an increased risk of calcium oxalate stone formation.