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Kidney Int. 2003 Mar;63(3):1066-71.

Effect of vitamin C supplements on urinary oxalate and pH in calcium stone-forming patients.

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Nephrology Division, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, UNIFESP, Brazil.



The contribution of ascorbate to urinary oxalate is controversial. The present study aimed to determine whether urinary oxalate and pH may be affected by vitamin C supplementation in calcium stone-forming patients.


Forty-seven adult calcium stone-forming patients received either 1 g (N=23) or 2 g (N=24) of vitamin C supplement for 3 days and 20 healthy subjects received 1 g. A 24-hour urine sample was obtained both before and after vitamin C for calcium, oxalate, magnesium, citrate, sodium, potassium, and creatinine determination. The Tiselius index was used as a calcium oxalate crystallization index. A spot fasting morning urine sample was also obtained to determine the urinary pH before and after vitamin C.


Fasting urinary pH did not change after 1 g (5.8 +/- 0.6 vs. 5.8 +/- 0.7) or 2 g vitamin C (5.8 +/- 0.8 vs. 5.8 +/- 0.7). A significant increase in mean urinary oxalate was observed in calcium stone-forming patients receiving either 1 g (50 +/- 16 vs. 31 +/- 12 mg/24 hours) or 2 g (48 +/- 21 vs. 34 +/- 12 mg/24 hours) of vitamin C and in healthy subjects (25 +/- 12 vs. 39 +/- 13 mg/24 hours). A significant increase in mean Tiselius index was observed in calcium stone-forming patients after 1 g (1.43 +/- 0.70 vs. 0.92 +/- 0.65) or 2 g vitamin C (1.61 +/- 1.05 vs. 0.99 +/- 0.55) and in healthy subjects (1.50 +/- 0.69 vs. 0.91 +/- 0.46). Ancillary analyses of spot urine obtained after vitamin C were performed in 15 control subjects in vessels with or without ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) with no difference in urinary oxalate between them (28 +/- 23 vs. 26 +/- 21 mg/L), suggesting that the in vitro conversion of ascorbate to oxalate did not occur.


These data suggest that vitamin C supplementation may increase urinary oxalate excretion and the risk of calcium oxalate crystallization in calcium stone-forming patients.

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