Calcium and Vitamin D Supplementation and Their Association with Kidney Stone Disease: A Narrative Review

Nutrients. 2021 Dec 4;13(12):4363. doi: 10.3390/nu13124363.


Kidney stone disease is a multifactorial condition influenced by both genetic predisposition and environmental factors such as lifestyle and dietary habits. Although different monogenic polymorphisms have been proposed as playing a causal role for calcium nephrolithiasis, the prevalence of these mutations in the general population and their complete pathogenetic pathway is yet to be determined. General dietary advice for kidney stone formers includes elevated fluid intake, dietary restriction of sodium and animal proteins, avoidance of a low calcium diet, maintenance of a normal body mass index, and elevated intake of vegetables and fibers. Thus, balanced calcium consumption protects against the risk for kidney stones by reducing intestinal oxalate availability and its urinary excretion. However, calcium supplementation given between meals might increase urinary calcium excretion without the beneficial effect on oxalate. In kidney stone formers, circulating active vitamin D has been found to be increased, whereas higher plasma 25-hydroxycholecalciferol seems to be present only in hypercalciuric patients. The association between nutritional vitamin D supplements and the risk for stone formation is currently not completely understood. However, taken together, available evidence might suggest that vitamin D administration worsens the risk for stone formation in patients predisposed to hypercalciuria. In this review, we analyzed and discussed available literature on the effect of calcium and vitamin D supplementation on the risk for kidney stone formation.

Keywords: calcium; kidney stones; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Calcium / administration & dosage
  • Calcium / adverse effects*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Hypercalciuria
  • Intestines
  • Kidney Calculi / etiology*
  • Kidney Calculi / metabolism
  • Kidney Calculi / prevention & control
  • Minerals / metabolism
  • Oxalates / metabolism
  • Risk
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D / adverse effects*
  • Vitamin D3 24-Hydroxylase / genetics


  • Minerals
  • Oxalates
  • Vitamin D
  • CYP24A1 protein, human
  • Vitamin D3 24-Hydroxylase
  • Calcium