Does vitamin D increase our chances of kidney stones?

Studies have suggested higher levels of vitamin D might raise our risk of developing painful kidney stones, leaving consumers and clinicians in a quandary about taking supplements. 

Researchers now say they find no link to higher vitamin D levels and kidney stone formation in a study that included 2,000 people. 

The new study that included 2, 012 participants is published in the  American Journal of Public Health

Levels of the vitamin studied were between 20 to 100ng/mL.

Cedric F. Garland DrPH from the University of California, San Diego led the study that looked at data from 2,000 men and women of all ages for 19 months; extracted from the public health promotional group GrassrootsHealth.

During the study period, only 13 people developed kidney stones that were self-reported. 

"Mounting evidence indicates that a Vitamin D serum level in the therapeutic range of 40 to 50 ng/mL is needed for substantial reduction in risk of many diseases, including breast and colorectal cancer,” said Garland in a press release. 

A low level of vitamin D has also been linked to: u

Older age, male gender and increased body mass index, but not higher levels of vitamin D, were found to increase a person's chance of kidney stones, the study found.

Optimal levels of the vitamin are still the subject of debate. The Vitamin D Council recommends keeping your level in the 50 ng/ml range.

Garland said the finding should alleviate concerns from prescribing clinicians that supplementing with vitamin D to keep levels 40-60ng/mL raises the risk of kidney stones.