Oxalate: 4 Reasons to Avoid It

Oxalate: 4 Reasons to Avoid It post image

Oxalate and oxalic acid are organic acids that come from three primary sources: the diet, from fungus such as Aspergillus, Penicillium and possibly Candida, and they also come from metabolic processes in the body. Oxalates are very powerful oxidants that initiate free radicals. I’ve talked about oxidants and anti-oxidants several times and so you probably know that oxidants are very dangerous highly reactive molecules that cause tissue damage. Oxalates are present all the time and the body usually disposes of them through the stools. It is when there are underlying conditions in the body that things go awry.

4 Reasons to avoid oxalate in the diet

1 — If you are a person who forms stones (you may have a family history of kidney stones or have already passed a stone)

2 — If you or someone you know is on the autism spectrum

3 — If you or someone you know has digestive issues, leaky gut or inflammatory bowel disease

4 — If you or someone you know has fibromyalgia or vulvodynia

The low oxalate diet is another aspect of diet management that can potentially address these problems if other dietary changes have not helped with the above conditions.

Calcium oxalate stones

Some people are susceptible to calcium oxalate kidney stones. If you have ever had a kidney stone or been with someone who is experiencing the passing of a stone you know that it is probably the most painful experience a person can have, inclusive of  childbirth. Ironically (or not) men seem more susceptible to kidney stones.

About 80% of kidney stones formed by adults in the U.S. are calcium oxalate stones. Usually a low oxalate diet is recommended to people who have had a calcium oxalate stone. However, it is not clear that restriction of dietary oxalate helps prevent formation of calcium oxalate stones in these individuals. Some researchers say it will help, some researchers suggest it is not the whole picture and rightly so.

Since intake of dietary oxalate accounts for only 10-15% of the oxalate that is found in the urine of individuals who form calcium oxalate stones, many researchers believe that dietary restriction cannot significantly reduce risk of stone formation.

Dangers of oxalate stone formation

Calcium oxalate stones are composed of crystals and can range in size from the diameter of a grain of rice to a two inch diameter mass. Many kidney stones contain calcium, but this does not mean that calcium should be avoided.

When calcium is consumed with high oxalate foods, oxalic acid in the intestine combines with calcium to form insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that are eliminated in the stool. This form of oxalate cannot be absorbed into the body.

However, if calcium is low in the diet, oxalic acid is freely soluble in the liquid portion of the contents of the upper intestine and is easily absorbed from the intestine into the bloodstream. If oxalic acid is very high in the blood being filtered by the kidney, it may combine with calcium to form crystals that may block urine flow and cause severe pain as it passes through.

Importantly, these crystals also form in the bones, joints, blood vessels, lungs, the nerves and brain. In the bone, oxalate crystals may crowd out bone marrow cells, and can lead to anemia and suppressed immunity.

Other conditions involving oxalates

Oxalate crystals can be razor sharp and may cause damage to various tissues. The sharp crystals cause damage due to their physical structure, but any contact with the crystals also increases inflammation.

Iron oxalate crystals cause significant oxidative damage and diminish iron stores needed for red blood cell formation.

Importantly, oxalates also function as chelating agents and may chelate many toxic metals such as mercury and lead. Unlike other chelating agents, oxalates trap heavy metals in the tissues making elimination of them very difficult.

The kidneys are the most common organ to be affected by oxalates. However, there are other tissues, organs and conditions that may be involved. People with fibromyalgia and women with vulvar pain (vulvodynia) can suffer from the effects of excess oxalates.


Children with autism are also greatly affected by oxalates. There is a body of anecdotal evidence emerging that clearly shows improvement in behavior and learning in children on the spectrum when they are put on a low oxalate diet.

The Autism Oxalate Project was begun in early 2005, started by Autism Researcher Susan Costen Owens, a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Texas at Dallas and long-term member of the Defeat Autism Now! thinktank run by the Autism Research Institute. She began this project after many years of studying how the sulfate, the sulfur and the oxalate chemistries work together in our bodies and after realizing that the gut inflammation in autism characterized first by Dr. Andrew Wakefield and later by many other gastroenterologists may lead to the excess absorption of oxalate from the diet because of increased permeability. Since gastrointestinal conditions are found frequently in autism, it seemed reasonable to see if lowering the dietary supply of oxalates could be beneficial. (Source)

This project draws from three main sources: Scientists around the world who are studying oxalates and who meet at international conferences, from work published in the medical literature and from the first hand observations of parents others using this diet who discuss their progress on the Yahoo! Group list Trying_Low_Oxalates.

Parents know their children best and they are an invaluable source of information about using the Low Oxalate Diet for autism.

How to protect against oxalates

Anti-oxidants are the body’s main response to exposure to oxidants like oxalates. This works well until the oxalate levels get too high or when infection burdens the body’s antioxidant systems. When inflammation in the gut is present, there may eventually be damage caused by the crystals themselves or by the disruption of mineral and heavy metal metabolism.

The best way to find out if you are affected by oxalates is to slowly change your diet to a low oxalate diet. The low oxalate diet is defined as being under 50 mg of oxalates a day.

There are bacteria in the gut that normally are able to transform oxalate to a harmless substance. Unfortunately, these bacteria are killed by antibiotics and/or may not be colonized properly in some children. The main oxalate degrading bacteria, oxalobacter formigenes, does not tend to be present in breastmilk, but scientists think it must be picked up gradually from the environment.

There is research going on to develop this species of bacteria as a medication for people with hyperoxaluria and related conditions. It is currently in clinical trials, but may not be available until 2013.

Foods that are high in oxalates

The following foods are some of the foods that are high in oxalates: spinach, leeks, sweet potato, swiss chard, figs, rhubarb, blueberries, almonds, pecans, cashews, peanuts, beetroot and beet greens, soy products. These are just some of the foods that contain over 50 mg per serving.

One Caveat

Lowering oxalates should be done slowly, over the course of one to two months. If you lower oxalates too rapidly, there can be a detox reaction that can be quite severe. I recommend going to the Trying Low Oxalate Yahoo Group to get the most up to date information on which lists are accurate and how to do this diet. See comments below as well.

Get some oxalate food lists here.

Have you had any experience with the low oxalate diet for a specific condition? Leave a comment and let me know!

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  • Leola June 19, 2012, 9:41 pm

    Yep! I found out about oxalates from Patty LA of Loving Our Guts, about 4 weeks ago. I have Fibromyalgia and have been on GAPS for over a year, but never got rid of all my body pain until I stopped putting carrots in my broth, which I was drinking twice a day. Voila! Gone, almost over night!!! Thank you for spreading the word!

    • Kelly June 13, 2015, 5:28 pm

      That’s bizarre, as cooked carrots are considered low oxalate according to the Low Oxalate Yahoo Group list and there are dozens of other vegetables with higher oxalate levels. Anyway, good to know, as I eat carrots, and am in a lot of pain. Glad to hear you’re doing well.

      • izzy June 15, 2015, 11:49 am

        Cooked carrots are low oxalates as long as you don’t drink the broth in which they have been cooked.

    • Regina December 22, 2015, 6:46 pm

      Leola, I hope you get this message. I know you posted this in 2012. How are you feeling now? I drank a green smoothie and it almost killed me. Then I began to have lots of severe pains in my arms then it spread to my entire body. I am sure its oxalate toxicity after researching a little. 6 months of extreme pain and now they say it’s Fibromyalgia. How could a green smoothie cause this? I only drank one. My life has changed after that. I hope I hear from you. Thank you

      • Dana September 1, 2016, 1:13 pm

        Hey Regina. I made a spinach smoothie and ended up in the emergency room. I don’t know if it’s because of the oxalate or salycilate. I also have horrible arm pain. Did you find an answer? It’s been 5 excruciating months. I’m just now learning about these things.

  • Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy June 19, 2012, 11:10 pm

    How interesting! I just may need to try this diet — I have Ulcerative Colitis, so this may help with symptoms!

    • Scott February 16, 2013, 9:39 am

      My friend cured himself of that by going on a vegan diet. check out halelujah acres/hippocrates

      • mart October 21, 2013, 10:33 am

        vegan diet = more veg. stop trying to convert people.

        • mart October 21, 2013, 10:34 am

          more veg more fruit = more oxylates.

          • mart October 21, 2013, 10:48 am

            you need to cut down on the right vegetable and right fruits etc. if you do that correctly, then yes a vegan diet would be very good.

            But unless you cut out the correct fruits and vegs, youll make it ten times worse.

  • Charlotte June 20, 2012, 5:35 am

    Hi Jill, I have resisted trying to restrict oxalates as it is so tedious to always be restricting more and more different foods (we already are on GAPs) and it hasn’t really flagged up as a ‘must try’ given the symptoms it is associated with. There is no history of stones in the family but my son has autism and I believe i have a candida problem. I have a history of cystitis and experience chronic urethral pain, not really vulvodynia though. Would you suggest trialling a low oxalate diet or only if there are a lot more signs it could be a problem?

    • Michelle June 20, 2012, 3:24 pm

      I would actually recommend against trying the low oxalate diet “for a week.” Or at least, I would recommend against going very low oxalate (down to the 50mg level suggested above) for just a week.

      You see, what we’ve found (and my own experience backs this up) is that when people lower their oxalate intake too much, too quickly, it can result in a honeymoon period, followed by a rapid, severe detox reaction (we call this “dumping,”) which can actually put your health at risk. So instead, it’s strongly recommended on the Trying Low Oxalates group (and my site) that you lower oxalates more slowly; eliminating the highest oxalate foods first, then removing high, and eventually limiting medium oxalate foods until reaching the 60mg/day level.

      Lowering your oxalate could probably be done safely over the course of a month or two (assuming you’re not eating ultra-high to begin with). If you have some symptom relief (or even start dumping oxalates) at some point during that lowering process, then you might want to look into adopting a lower oxalate way of eating over the long haul. If you’d like to find out where to get the most accurate list (which is only available via the Yahoo group) and how to use it, I have an entire article about it here: http://oxvox.com/how-to-use-the-tlo-spreadsheets/

      • Jill June 20, 2012, 7:28 pm

        Hi Michelle,
        Another great point. I did not get into the specifics of actually trying the diet as that would really be another post. But this is a very important issue.

        My best advice for people who really want to try this is to join the Yahoo group and get as much information as possible before you start.

        I should also mention that there are many lists out there and some will have conflicting information. Also the oxalate content of foods will very according to many variables such as when it is harvested, the soil it is grown in, etc.

        • Michelle June 21, 2012, 10:28 am

          Amen to the variability of oxalates! While the list available on the TLO yahoo group is the only one I trust and go by, (mostly because it’s constantly being added to and re-tested using the latest methods), we’ve seen many times that values can vary significantly from one batch of food to another.

          Still, most items which are high at one testing remain high (there was even a study about this, done (in part) to find a low oxalate variety of spinach: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/18/3/233.full.pdf and I’ll give you a hint…there isn’t one 🙂 ), even if the precise number of milligrams per serving vary.

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  • Mary @ Homemade Dutch Apple Pie June 20, 2012, 6:47 am

    Fascinating. My dad has had kidney stones several times. I have a very damanged gut. I actually already avoid a lot of the HO foods based on my own experimentation over the years. But I’ll have to look into it more. Maybe there are a few foods that could be causing me problems yet that I’m not aware of. I am definitely dealing with a lot of inflammation and trying to figure out how to get rid of it.

  • Michelle June 20, 2012, 3:12 pm

    Jill, thank you so much for bringing oxalates to the attention of your readers! I truly believe there are loads of people who need to know about this diet but don’t yet. While it’s true that any food restriction is a pain, I have found going low oxalate to be the single most productive dietary change I ever tried. Most of the others (with the exception of eliminating grains) resulted in no noticeable change at all to how I felt. So now I’m pretty passionate about letting folks know about the low oxalate diet (to the point that I started a whole web site about it :).

    One thing I would like to point out, though, is that while it’s a great idea for people to raise their anti-oxidant intake to help their bodies cope with oxalates, they shouldn’t head straight for the vitamin C. While vitamin C is known to be a potent anti-oxidant, it also degrades very easily to oxalate when consumed in amounts in excess of physiological need. For that reason, it’s recommended that other anti-oxidants such as vitamins A & E, and Co-Q10 be used to help counteract the oxidative stress brought on by oxalates.

    • Jill June 20, 2012, 7:25 pm

      Hi Michelle,
      Great point about the vitamin C. I meant to put that in the post but must have got side tracked.

  • CatGross June 20, 2012, 3:35 pm


    I just wanted to give you some info on strawberries. I noticed they were not on the lists that you posted.
    Strawberries were thought to be Moderate Oxalate, but it looks like they may be lower according to some new research. But they are still saying only eat 1/2 cup

    ‡ Recent oxalate analysis of strawberries shows lower values than previously thought. Until more data confirms this, ½ cup is the recommended serving size of strawberries.

    Here is the list that I have that everyone might be interested in looking at too.

    Bless you guys,
    Ventura, CA

  • Laura June 23, 2012, 7:13 pm

    Hi there,
    Couple of questions:
    1. I checked out the list of ratings for oxalates in veggies and didn’t see the rating for fermented vegetables. Carrots or beets may be very high, but what if they are fermented.
    2. If anti-oxidants are part of the way oxalates are dealt with in the body would the nutrients already in many vegetables allow for the oxalates to be dealt with via synergistic nutrients canceling each other out after eating? Just curious:)
    This occurred to me because mercury in fish is often able to be dealt with because selenium is also occurring naturally in the fish. Selenium can cancel out the mercury in the fish. Could this logic be applied to oxalates?
    Finally I know that everyone has to deal with varying levels of gut health and is always an individual choice and experiment we are all going through.

    • Jill June 23, 2012, 9:25 pm

      Hi Laura,
      It is very difficult to get information about fermented veggies in regard to oxalates or other anti nutrients in them. For instance it is not clear how fermenting affects the goitrogens in cabbage and the brassica group.

      For some people, any synergistic nutrients just don’t cut it. For others, they may work as you speculate.

  • cadie June 25, 2012, 6:25 pm


    I find this all so confusing. If oxcalate and oxcalic acid is so bad then how is it people are being cured of cancer and other diseases while juicing and eating these vegetables? This is a sincere question, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August of last year and have chose to treat it with alternative therapies. I was introduced to Nourishing Traditions in November and have been confused since. I eat mostly a raw diet with the addition of butter, eggs, bone broth and some meat, even though the therapies call for no animal products. (I was a vegetarian for 18 yrs prior) I ferment veggies and raw milk….thanks to NT, but am still left so confused. Where do you get your information, I would love to read up on it some more. I feel wonderful and very energetic, the veggies and juices don’t make me feel bad at all, nor does the reintroduction to meat and dairy. Argh! I appritiate all the information you have posted, just so confused on what is the right thing to do.

  • Joel June 26, 2012, 1:19 pm

    George Mateljian’s World’s Healthiest Foods site is highly recommended for detailed info on oxalic acid and everything else nutrient-related, plus very easy nutrition-conserving recipes, some with videos. http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=48

  • Penniless Parenting June 27, 2012, 7:55 am

    Wow, I get overwhelmed by all the foods that are “bad for you”… Very soon, it seems there will be nothing left that we can eat…
    Thanks for sharing though…

    • Koko May 10, 2015, 1:57 pm

      I don’t think this article is saying these foods are ” bad” for anyone. It’s just an idea to help certain people address their specific health needs. I don’t understand people needing someone else to come up with some broad stroke list that is “good” or “bad” for everyone. There’s no such thing. We all have different dietary needs, conditions, symptoms, digestive function, etc. As a society we need to listen to our bodies more and have an open mind.

      • Piri February 6, 2016, 2:13 pm

        Hi Koko.

        Finally someone come up with a correct explanation.
        The impression that most food are bad for you.
        You are the most level headed great to hear some good explanation.

  • April @ The 21st Century Housewife July 2, 2012, 7:33 am

    I found this very interesting. Luckily my family and I have no reason to avoid them (and I pray that continues), but I always like to learn new things about the foods we eat.

  • Cindy July 10, 2012, 12:59 am

    Question–what kind of info/research is there on Rheumatoid Arthritis and oxalates? I have been on GAPS for a few weeks now and am starting to reduce the oxalates in my diet. Is it worth continuing with this process (the oxalate reduction)? I LOVED peanut butter and all kinds of tree nuts…rotated the nuts and freely ate each day.

    • Jill July 10, 2012, 9:07 am

      HI Cindy,
      If you are on GAPS then you are eliminating nuts in the beginning anyway. I would think it is worth while to check out your sensitivities to oxalates if you have RA.

  • Melinda Keen December 14, 2012, 2:30 pm

    My reason for trying and sticking with the LOD is freedom from PAIN. In August 2012 I began to experience the strangest symptoms. One day my hand would swell, turn red, and be horribly painful…then the next be fine. Days later the same would happen in a shoulder. It began to progress….intense debilitating pain that would last for several days. It would rotate from one hand to the other, one shoulder to the other, one side of my jaw to the other. It would start suddenly and within hours any movement of the area was impossible. Hip pain sometimes so bad I couldn’t walk. I combed the Internet for relief (nothing would ease the pain) and to see if anyone else had experienced the same thing. I read up on RA…wasn’t matching my symptoms. Then fibro…not exacty the same….etc…etc. I knew if I went to the ER I’d receive a cortisone injection and be sent home with pain pills (seen that in my family members) and what I really wanted was answers. I study nutrition, eat a perfect health diet, and considered myself extremely healthy. These symptoms were sudden and strange. When I stumbled upon the information on oxalates and viewed the LOD I knew I’d found the answers. I keep a food diary so I was able to pour over the pages. As I circled oxalate foods I was laughing because I had found my reasons for the awful pains. EVERYTHING I’d been eating for the past few months was high in oxalates. EVERYTHING. All those nuts and spinach salads and okra and beets I thought were healthy were doing this to me. I cut them all out immediately. (I know…you’re not suppposed to do it that way) but I did. Within days I found relief. I cried. That was in November. Finally, relief from pain after 3 months of torment. About the second week without oxalates the pain rotation began again. But each time it would flare up in one place for only a day or less and not nearly as intense. Weeks later there were long stretches between each flare up. To date, I have been pain free and even my energy has increased. I feel great. I just had to share my horror story. I thank God for all those that have done the same because that’s how I found help. More people need to know how oxalates can effect health. I just wonder how many people suffer needlessly because the doctor has mistakenly diagnosed them with fibro, ms, or RA. Sad.

    • Jill December 14, 2012, 3:25 pm

      H Melinda,
      Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It’s really great that you found out what the problem is!

  • Jamie December 27, 2012, 11:47 pm

    Just wondering… So I am about to start the GAPS diet for my self and my two sons who are both on the spectrum. One is low-functioning, he has very poor digestion. Even soft cooked veggies come out undigested. He also is experiencing low thyroid and is on nature-throid. I too am more and more confused because already I need to reduce any veggies from the cabbage family. I use ALOT of carrots. Someone mentioned above that carrots were causing her problems. Seriously, what is left? I have been using a lot of squash also.

    • Jill December 28, 2012, 8:48 pm

      Hi Jamie,
      On the GAPS diet you start with animal proteins and fats and not very many veges. As you go through the stages of intro you start to introduce each food one at a time. That way you can identify which foods are problems for you.

  • felicity May 30, 2013, 4:15 pm

    I am very much into nutrition, but I don’t restrict at extreme levels. Here’s why:
    I don’t like high low-density cholesterol or saturated fats. These lead to heart attack and stroke, and weight issues.
    I don’t do well with gluten: water retention.
    I have low blood sugar and low blood pressure (over-healthy – yes it’s possible) – so I avoid high spikes with sugar by eating low glycemic foods.
    NOW – I eat fish (occasional poultry) and lots of vegan and vegetarian meals.
    Now – there’s all this stuff about oxalates – and more foods to restrict eating too much of. So this pulls Out greens and the best leafy stuff. Which are most of my grain sources. No grain at all – (even from veggies) – leads to bad colon from no insoluble fiber. What does this really mean? Here’s my thoughts:
    If you have a health problem or issue, follow these high restrictions to cure your body and fix the problem. If not, then go light and even on everything good, and you probably won’t have too much of one vs. the other, if you eat it ALL. Now, don’t eat at all or very little – from the groups that are bad – could be gluten, but IS almost always including Simple/processed sugars, animal fats and cholesterols, and high amounts of one thing and not enough colors in the diet. That makes it simple for me. Oh, and dairy is a whole other issue – still presents issues because it’s from poisoned meats.
    What are your thoughts on this? Thanks!

  • felicity May 30, 2013, 4:16 pm

    ps by high low-density* I mean I don’t eat a lot of low-density lipoproteins/cholesterols. I eat monounsaturated fats that are high density and good for you, ie. avocado, nuts, olive oil.

  • shouts.tv July 30, 2013, 10:59 pm

    Thanks for finally writing about >Oxalates: 4 reasons to Avoid It <Liked it!

  • Rob December 15, 2013, 6:42 pm

    Why has no one talked about adding magnesium and more water to your diet? Magnesium works with the calicum to block the Oxalate. Oxalate is not the problem.

    • Karen von Merveldt-Guevara March 19, 2014, 3:11 pm

      You are right, Rob! Oxalates will bind following the electrochemical reactivity chain… Hg being on top of that and many other heavy metals. The low reactivity metals and minerals like Ca++ and Mg++ are on the lower end of that. So flooding the body with Mg++ would be very helpful… and helping the taxed adrenals. Externally best as MgCl bath crystals to soak in. Epsom Salt, magnesium sulfate, can cause problems, because of frequent overload in sulfates with people these days. There is a promising approach with Vitamin K2 MK-4 (menatetrenone), phosphorous and Vitamin B6 as P-5-P to release oxalates from your body and buffer the effects of oxalates on your body. I think the human body like plants produces oxalates to fix “free floating” minerals and metals to “deactivate” them when there is lack of proper binding sites or lack of proper function of detoxification pathways.

  • Misty January 29, 2014, 6:55 pm

    Seeing some great results with my family ~ myself and 3 daughters. One daughter has had joint pains for years and the medical system has just sent me from one specialist to the next without any answers. Glad to know others are researching and keeping up to date with changing times with our children and health. Thanks for spreading the word!

  • Laurel March 28, 2014, 11:53 am

    A few years ago, I started experiencing “fake” UTI symptoms, leading to “fake” kidney stone back pain. I saw my family practice doctor every three or four weeks and was diagnosed with UTIs, given anti-biotics, and sent home, until Christmas Eve when I had to go to the ER because of the back pain. After several CAT scans, they determined that I DIDN’T have a kidney stone, and was sent home. I saw a urologist, who also didn’t know what was going on.

    ….and then I went to the UK on business. They don’t serve iced tea in the UK. Until my trip, I was drinking iced tea all day long every day. I drank it from the time I woke up in the morning until bedtime. After a week in the UK, I noticed my back wasn’t hurting. When I got home, I stopped in the airport and got some iced tea and began my ritual tea-drinking again. Within a few days, my back was hurting again and I thought to myself, “I wonder if it has anything to do with tea.” I googled “tea and back pain” and all sorts of other things, until I got frustrated and googled “when I drink tea my back hurts”. That’s when I learned about oxalates.

    You can imagine my frustration. After all the doctor visits, including a visit to a urologist, not one time did they ask if I drank anything on a regular basis! Once I quit drinking iced tea, the back pain stopped, until I started flirting with it again. I fooled myself into thinking I could drink it as a “treat” on Saturdays and special occasions. That lead to my daily habit again and more back pain.

    I know very little about oxalates and I have not been told by a doctor to limit them in my diet, but I do know that when I drink tea, which is high in oxalates, I have back pain. Today, I learned that there are oxalates in foods. Is there any HARM in limiting the oxalates in my diet?

    • Jill March 28, 2014, 12:38 pm

      Hi Laurel,
      You have an interesting story. To answer your question, there is no harm in limiting oxalates — you just should do it gradually as noted in the comments above.

    • Pat April 9, 2014, 2:25 pm

      I’m confused by this. It’s common knowledge that drinking anything like this causes stones. Was it sweetened tea?

      Honestly, I’m not trying to be rude, but how did you not notice the correlation previously? People can’t rely on doctors, who only see their patients for a few Moments, to know the intricacies of their bodies better than themselves. It really bothers me when patients blame doctors for not asking the right questions when they aren’t asking those questions themselves.

      It’s important to take responsibility for our own health.

      • Koko May 10, 2015, 2:15 pm

        I agree with you Pat but, I can fully understand where Laurel is coming from. Most Urologist will ask about daily caffeine consumption because it is the leading cause in most urinary issues. While I agree that every individual should be responsible for their own health I find it odd that a professional in that field wouldn’t ask that very obvious question.

  • Clare Fenn June 22, 2014, 9:26 am

    Does the fermenting process reduce the oxalates? I drink beet kvass daily and wonder about the oxalate content. Thank you.

    • Jill June 22, 2014, 1:02 pm

      Hi Clare,
      There is not a lot or evidence that fermenting reduces oxalates. However, beet kvass has so many benefits I would continue with it as long as you are not bothered by oxalates.

  • Ashley August 22, 2014, 4:02 pm

    FYI, Vitamin B6 deficiency can cause endogenous oxalate production. But it’s not as simple as supplementing it, there’s a formula for figuring out the dosage each person needs. You also need at least 2x the B6 dosage in magnesium (ie 50mg of b6 needs at least 100mg of mag), plus the cofactors for mag absorption and utilization, etc.

    If you don’t want to join the yahoo group, there’s a FB group called Trying Low Oxalates.

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  • Melinda July 1, 2015, 6:00 pm

    Thank you for your help. I’ve learned so much. After years of research and getting my health back with a low oxalate diet I’ve written a cookbook. “Low Oxalate Fresh and Fast Cookbook” is available on Amazon.

  • Jo Blaubach July 5, 2015, 2:12 am

    I have sclerotini sclerotorium fungus which that fungus then causes toxic amounts of oxalic acid. If I took O. Formigenes would that get ridd off enough oxalic acid to kill the sclerotinia sclerotorium fungus? I don’t know what to do. My husband and I are both infected and no M>D> is wanting to help. We are dying. Help!!!

  • Jo blaubach July 5, 2015, 2:22 am

    Where can I buy O. Formigenes? Is it prescription or over the counter?

    • Jill July 5, 2015, 6:55 pm

      Hi Jo blaubach,
      I do not know if oxalobacter formigenes is available as a medication. Let us know what you find out!

  • Janice December 2, 2015, 7:11 pm

    I have an unusual question. My son has been having pain in various places which seemed to be tied with consumption of calcium supplements (dairy is okay), peppers (especially jalepeno, green bell, chili). Magnesium supplements will cause burning pains, bruise like pains, etc.
    We stumbled upon oxalate problems. So he experimented. He ate a couple spicy meals and took Magnesium Citrate (one of the types we hadn’t tried before) and had no problems for a couple days. Continued taking the Magnesium Citrate for the magnesium (which seems to help alleviate his headaches) Now, day 3…the burning pains, the bruising pains (one that forms a lime right across the back of his thighs right where the edge of a chair he had been sitting on was).
    I am wondering…the calcium or magnesium (which likes to bind to oxalates) be causing problems if he has a huge buildup in his tissues…so that when it dumps, the extra magnesium he is currently taking… binds with the dumping oxalates.. forming crystals that get carried through out the body? Especially since his diet right now is mostly lean meat burger patties, sitaw (pork, green beans, onion, rice…which he was handling fine before taking the magnesium).
    Or…something else?
    Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks

    • Jill December 2, 2015, 8:46 pm

      Hi Janice,
      Perhaps you should look into intolerance to nightshade vegetables, as these include peppers and hot spices from peppers as well as white potatoes, tomato and eggplant.

      I don’t know about the mechanism you describe – perhaps you could ask at the Low Oxalate Groups — links above.

      Also magnesium oil may be better tolerated as it is absorbed through the skin.

  • Diana December 28, 2015, 12:28 am

    Hi. This is a great blog and appreciate your posts here. Oxalate issues became significant for me when I began to consume “super foods” like almonds, peanuts,blueberries and others mentioned. I couldn’t figure out what it was and MD seemed to be clueless or thought it was some new neurosis. Also conflicting info on line about which foods are high or low, especially tropical ones and so perhaps they vary according where they grow, too? Anyway, as I have travelled the uncharted road toward low oxalate consumption I have had “episodes” of aches and heaviness in the kidney area. I learned from a different blog that CALM (ionic magnesium citrate powder sold in health food stores)works miracles, providing immediate pain relief and an opportunity to reset the body to neutral again. Highly recommended.

    • Cj June 11, 2016, 2:59 pm

      Thanks for writing this
      I can relate. About two years ago I started eating a lot of super foods and ingesting a bottle of kale, spinach, wheatgrass, lemon juice, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and wheat containing products. After removing these foods my symptoms seem to clear over three months I recently had an onset of symptoms again due to strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and commercial boxed foods. My symptoms are characterized by urgency frequency etc. Best of luck to all of you dealing with this

  • Sandy May 3, 2016, 8:48 am

    I had smoothies for two weeks, mostly spinach and kale. I found myself bedridden with hip pain and my restless leg exasperated. Went to the chiropractor with no positively results. A friend found an article on oxalates in fibromyalgia and restless leg suffers. I have finely found relief after taking out the high oxalates. Amazing!

  • Cj June 11, 2016, 2:52 pm

    Thanks for this info. I’ve been struggling with symptoms of urgency and frequency for two years now I believe it’s a excess of oxalate foods in my diet as well as taking IVs a 50 g of vitamin C once every two weeks God bless you this is been very helpful

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  • Pamela Hudson January 5, 2017, 1:05 pm

    All i now is I have a high functioning child with aspergers who is a severely picky eater. Nothing on the list of high oxalates (only peanut butter now and then) was ever in his diet for the exception of baby food. He’s 14 years old. Last night i have him a blueberry spinach smoothie and he went to full blown autism within minutes.