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J Urol. 1992 May;147(5):1215-8.

Ascorbic acid overdosing: a risk factor for calcium oxalate nephrolithiasis.

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Department of Urology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, New York.


A total of 15 patients with unilateral nephrostomy tubes after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy received either 0 (placebo), 100, 500, 1,000 or 2,000 mg. ascorbic acid on days 2 and 3 postoperatively. Before and after administration, successive 6-hour urine specimens were collected from the nephrostomy tube and from the contralateral kidney directly into a preservative to stabilize ascorbic acid and oxalate. In 1 patient in each group preservative was omitted from the collection pouch. Urinary oxalate was then measured enzymatically after removal of ascorbic acid with sodium nitrite. Preservatives proved necessary for full recovery of analyte. At doses of 500 mg. or more of ascorbic acid there was a statistically significant increase in urinary oxalate equivalent to 1.2 to 1.8% of the millimoles of ascorbate administered. This represented an increase in urinary oxalate excretion of 6 to 13 mg. per day per 1,000 mg. ascorbic acid supplement. This amount would increase the risk of calcium oxalate urolithiasis.

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