Background: An anomalous plasma phospholipid polyunsaturated fatty acid composition has been reported in calcium nephrolithiasis, and was proposed to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of hypercalciuria and hyperoxaluria, well-known risk factors for lithogenesis. Methods: To confirm this hypothesis, we administered rats three different diets rich in coconut, soybean and fish oils, and evaluated their effect on plasma urinary calcium and oxalate excretion, since the quality of fatty acids represents an important factor able to influence the activity of delta-6-desaturase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of highly unsaturated fatty acids. Results: In comparison with coconut and fish oil, dietary supplementation with soybean oil increased plasma phospholipid arachidonic acid and serum 1,25-vitamin D<sub>3</sub> values, as well as renal tissue calcium content and urinary excretion of sodium, oxalate and calcium. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that the quality of fatty acids may modify the urine excretion of calcium and oxalate, confirming our previous hypothesis of a pathogenetic link between cellular membrane phospholipid polyunsaturated fatty acid composition and calcium nephrolithiasis. In addition, our study provides new insights into the relationship between dietary, environmental factors and renal stone disease.