Zinc supplements and kidney stones – WARNING!!!


As regular readers will know, I’ve had problems with kidney stones in the past.  Thanks to finding a couple of effective over-the-counter supplements, Chanca Piedra and Kidney C.O.P., I haven’t had further difficulties since early 2019.  I settled on a lower dose of the latter supplement, and discontinued the former, although I kept it handy in case another stone should develop.

About a month ago, Miss D. and I started taking a zinc dietary supplement, to add to our daily multivitamin and Vitamin D intake, in an effort to build our resistance to colds and flu (not to mention COVID-19, as we’re both in various higher-risk brackets for that).  Last week I began to feel a bit wobbly around the kidneys, and on Friday evening found my urine filled with blood – a sure sign that a kidney stone was about to demand exit.  Pain levels began to increase, too, although not as badly as they had before.  (I put that down to Kidney C.O.P.’s “rounding” effect on kidney stones, so they aren’t as jagged and sharp-edged as usual.  This makes them easier to pass, and a lot less painful.)

I was at a loss to explain this sudden return of a problem I thought I’d beaten – until I thought about the zinc supplement, the only major change in recent months that might have a relationship to it.  Sure enough, when I did an Internet search, there’s a correlation between the use of zinc supplements and the formation of kidney stones.  Vitamin D and calcium supplements are also implicated, but I think those had (in my case) been controlled by the kidney supplements I was already taking.  When I added zinc as well, the combination appears to have overwhelmed their protective effect, with the result I described.

Needless to say, I’ve stopped taking the zinc supplement for now, and I’ve doubled my daily dose of the Chanca Piedra and Kidney C.O.P. supplements until I’ve dealt with the stone.  Once that’s done, I’ll probably resume taking the zinc supplement, but at a much lower level – perhaps a third of the recommended daily dose – and see whether I can sustain that.

So, friends, if you’re susceptible to kidney stones and you also take a zinc supplement, or Vitamin D, or calcium . . . be warned.  They all, particularly in combination, add to your kidney stone risk.



  1. Hey Peter;

    I take a migraine preventive "Trazadone" everyday and I discovered that it promotes kidney stones and I have one named "George" in my left kidney that has been dormant for the past 10 years, so I have cut back on the preventive to lessen the effect on "George", I didn't know about the effects of Zinc, glad Im not taking it, and thanks for the heads up. because I am taking other multivitamins.

  2. I discovered that taking a Zinc supplement had some other negative effects on me over time. Significant drop in energy, digestive issues (pain and nausea), and mental fogginess (possibly related to low energy and increased sleep needs). Nothing when I first started taking it, but very slowly building up as I got to the end of the 3nd bottle.

    I wasn't sure what was causing this until I ran out for about 3 days and all of a sudden was feeling MUCH better. I'll stay away from that stuff.

  3. Vitamin C is also supposed to increase kidney stone formation, according to my urologist. As well as things like nuts (so much for peanut butter.) And dark green vegetables like spinach.

  4. I may have had a huge attack in 2002 due to zinc supplement. Cannot prove it, of course. The only advice I've had from a urologist is to drink orange (or grapefruit) juice daily. Don't have to drink a whole lot, they say, to help keep down the (ordinary) stones. I avoid grapefruit juice, as it can interfere with various medications….

    (Oh yes, the zinc supplement was recommended back in those days as a way to help shrink prostate. So much for that.)

  5. I've not had that particular part of growing up, not yet anyway. I wonder if the acidity in coffee helps. Another excuse to imbibe, I guess.

  6. Yes, you can take too much zinc, and BC is reporting some of the symptoms of excess consumption.

    If there's reason to be concerned, the gold standard for lab testing of zinc is plasma.

    Taking over 50 mg/d of zinc for more that a couple or three months is most likely too much unless you know you were low to begin with and your levels aren't coming up despite supplementation.

    In general, you should take about 1 mg of copper for every 15 mg of zinc you take. There are supplements out there with 15 mg of zinc and that ratio of copper. In general, once you're replete, one or two of those is plenty for most people.

  7. I was taking a 50mg supplement, one per day. Still turned out to be too much over 90 days. Had not heard the Cu bit, still think I'll pass though.

  8. You might read up on Selenium. Inhibits formation of the spike protein.

    Zinc only helps if you can get it inside your cells. That is what the Hydroxychlorquinine does.

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