How much calcium should a patient with calcium stones have in their diet?
For many years, low-calcium diets (400 mg/day) were standard for patients with calcium stones and hypercalciuria. Although low-calcium diets clearly reduce urine calcium, there is not a clinical trial proving that low-calcium diets reduce stone formation.
Epidemiologic studies challenged this approach by showing people with low-calcium diets were more likely to form kidney stones than those on high-calcium diets.
A subsequent study showed that a low-sodium, low-protein diet with normal calcium intake was more effective in preventing stones than a standard low-calcium diet.
In general, patients should be encouraged to avoid calcium gluttony but should maintain a calcium intake of 1000 to 1200 mg/day.