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Author Topic: High-dose vitamin C linked to kidney stones in men  (Read 558 times)
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« on: February 05, 2013, 06:23:45 PM »

High-dose vitamin C linked to kidney stones in men

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/high-dose-vitamin-c-linked-to-kidney-stones-in-men-201302055854

File this under “if a little bit is good, a lot isn’t necessarily better:” taking high-dose vitamin C appears to double a man’s risk of developing painful kidney stones.

In an article published yesterday in JAMA Internal Medicine, Swedish researchers detail a connection between kidney stone formation and use of vitamin C supplements among more than 23,000 Swedish men. Over an 11-year period, about 2% of the men developed kidney stones. Those who reported taking vitamin C supplements were twice as likely to have experienced the misery of kidney stones. Use of a standard multivitamin didn’t seem to boost the risk.

The average man needs 90 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C a day; the average woman 75 mg. The vitamin is important for making and repairing connective tissue, skin, and bones. It also helps the body absorb iron. Good food sources include red peppers, papaya, and citrus fruits. Vitamin C supplements can deliver 10 times or more of the daily requirement.

In part because of the tireless but misguided efforts of Nobel laureate Linus Pauling and others, many people believe that extra vitamin C can prevent colds, supercharge the immune system, detoxify the body, protect the heart, fight cancer, and more. To date, though, the evidence doesn’t support claims that extra vitamin C is helpful. Despite that, vitamin C represents the biggest single category of vitamin and mineral sales; Americans bought more than $200 million worth of it last year.

Risk is real, benefits aren’t

The Swedish study isn’t the first to link vitamin C with kidney stones. A similar connection was observed in men by Dr. Gary C. Curhan and colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health. Curiously, in an almost identical study in women, Curhan’s team didn’t find any association between vitamin C intake and kidney stones.

Kidney stones form for a variety of reasons. Genes matter, as do gender (men get them more than women), weight (obesity boosts the risk), and diet (eating a lot of animal protein, not drinking enough fluids). The most common type of stone is a mixture of calcium and oxalate, a substance found in many foods. Some people break down vitamin C into oxalate, which may explain the connection with kidney stone formation.

Is there enough evidence to warn men, at least, from taking vitamin C supplements? Yes, says Dr. Curhan. “High dose vitamin C supplements should be avoided, particularly if an individual has a history of calcium oxalate stones.”

In a commentary accompanying the vitamin C article, Dr. Robert H. Fletcher, emeritus professor of ambulatory care and prevention at Harvard Medical School, made the point a different way. If there’s truly a cause-effect relationship, then one of every 680 people who take high-dose vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) would develop kidney stones. “This is not an insignificant risk,” Fletcher writes. “But more to the point, is any additional risk worthwhile if high-dose ascorbic acid is not effective?”
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WannaBePro
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 12:48:41 PM »

Well this isn't good news...
When I diet I chew on those Sunkist Vitamin C tablets because they taste amazing, I get vitamin c and it curbs my appetite. Each tab contains 500mg of vit c (way over the 90mg recommended dose in that article).
I guess now I'm going to rely solely on gum  Sad
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Princess L
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 01:34:27 PM »

Well this isn't good news...
When I diet I chew on those Sunkist Vitamin C tablets because they taste amazing, I get vitamin c and it curbs my appetite. Each tab contains 500mg of vit c (way over the 90mg recommended dose in that article).
I guess now I'm going to rely solely on gum  Sad

An absurd number  Roll Eyes.  Are they trying to say anything over 90mg is considered high dose?  Probably the minimum number to prevent scurvy or something.
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 02:16:37 PM »

An absurd number  Roll Eyes.  Are they trying to say anything over 90mg is considered high dose?  Probably the minimum number to prevent scurvy or something.


Scurvy is a funny word
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2013, 04:00:00 PM »

Is it possible that vit C is something that should maybe be avoided by people who are susceptible to kidney stones? I've never had one, but I understand that people who are prone to developing them are instructed to follow certain nutritional guidelines.
Perhaps this is another one of them.
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 04:46:13 PM »

old news, so 1993
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 07:34:38 AM »

While we're on the subject, is anyone else wary of taking several hundred percentages of anything on a daily basis? Does the body excrete the excess?
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Montague
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2013, 07:45:12 AM »

While we're on the subject, is anyone else wary of taking several hundred percentages of anything on a daily basis? Does the body excrete the excess?


It depends on what it is.
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WannaBePro
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 07:45:32 AM »

While we're on the subject, is anyone else wary of taking several hundred percentages of anything on a daily basis? Does the body excrete the excess?
For some reason I always thought that taking hundreds percentages of vitamin c was fine, so I've been doing it for a year or so now. I mean if you drink 2 glasses of orange juice you're getting 200% of your DV of vitamin c right there...

Montague, I talked with a friend of mine in the medical field and he said that if kidney stones run in your family then you should be more worried about consuming more vitamin c than "needed" by the body. In my case I should probably be a bit worried since my dad got kidney stones when he was in his early 40's
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2013, 07:58:10 AM »

For some reason I always thought that taking hundreds percentages of vitamin c was fine, so I've been doing it for a year or so now. I mean if you drink 2 glasses of orange juice you're getting 200% of your DV of vitamin c right there...

Montague, I talked with a friend of mine in the medical field and he said that if kidney stones run in your family then you should be more worried about consuming more vitamin c than "needed" by the body. In my case I should probably be a bit worried since my dad got kidney stones when he was in his early 40's


Yeah, I know years ago they also recommended avoiding tea and other beverages/foods, too. This is the first ive heard of vit C causing issues, but I haven't kept current with the topic. Reactions may be subject to individual biochemistry, too, so it may not effect everyone the same - even people who are prone to developing stones.
Keep up on the current research findings and take the necessary precautions.
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2013, 10:09:13 AM »

The linus pauling institute at oregon university says you can reach tissue saturation of Vit-C with only 200mgs. This is easily acheived with proper nutrition. It has to be better for your body to get Vit-C from food than synthetic pills. I used to beleave the hype from vitamin companies. Save your $$$$$ for groceries and fruits and veggies!!
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2013, 05:37:01 PM »

The linus pauling institute at oregon university says you can reach tissue saturation of Vit-C with only 200mgs. This is easily acheived with proper nutrition. It has to be better for your body to get Vit-C from food than synthetic pills. I used to beleave the hype from vitamin companies. Save your $$$$$ for groceries and fruits and veggies!!

Great advice regarding most vitamins and minerals IMO.
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