1. Eight normotensive subjects were studied in a randomized crossover trial of a high calcium diet (1800 mg of calcium/day) for a week against a low calcium diet (200 mg of calcium/day) for a further week.
2. The subjects were placed on a diet containing 200 mg of calcium/day throughout the study and the high calcium diet was achieved by supplementing the low calcium diet with calcium glubionate and galactogluconate. Sodium and potassium intake were kept constant throughout the study.
3. Twenty-four hour urinary sodium, potassium, calcium and phosphate were measured daily.
4. In spite of a highly significant increase in calcium excretion from the low to the high calcium diet (P < 0.0001), there was no increase in sodium or change in potassium excretion with the increased calcium intake. A transient but significant fall in urinary sodium excretion was observed up to the fourth day of the high calcium diet (P = 0.021). Twenty-four hour urinary phosphate excretion fell significantly on the high calcium diet (P < 0.0001). Body weight, blood pressure, plasma renin activity, aldosterone, plasma creatinine and serum ionized calcium did not change.
5. These results suggest that a short-term increase in calcium intake in normotensive subjects does not increase urinary sodium and potassium excretion.