Oxalates are found in many common healthy foods including leafy greens, vegetables, fruits tea, grains/flours, nuts and seeds.While many of these foods are very healthy, they also contain an antinutrient called oxalate (oxalic acid).
We now know that as a source, oxalates can be produced on its own or obtained it from the everyday food that we eat and consider healthy and nutritious.
What causes Oxalates?
Ordinarily for most healthy people, very little oxalate is absorbed from the diet, but the level of absorption has to do with the condition of the gut and the microbiome. There is a lot of research showing that when the gut is inflamed and leaky and when there is poor fat digestion, increased oxalate absorption from foods that are eaten can be absorbed from the GI tract and become a risk to other cells in the body.
For those who have a history of antibiotic use, they may be at much greater risk from dietary oxalate as many antibiotics can kill back the good bacteria that degrades oxalate, including lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidus. Although these do help, the main bacteria that degrade oxalate is oxalobacter formigenes, and the only formula on the market that contains this strain is the probiotic VSL#3.
Oxalobacter cannot survive without eating up oxalate, so oxalate makes it happy and makes it grow.. Several studies have shown that those who develop oxalate-related disease generally lack oxalobacter in their stool.
People who do well on a high oxalate diet may be people who have a healthy amount of oxalobacter in their colon. They might be able to eat flours of all kind, almonds, spinach, buckwheat etc, because the oxalobacter would happily degrade the oxalate and keep the dietary oxalate from being absorbed in the colon where it could travel by blood into other tissues all around the body.
Another cause could be down to an a genetic disorder and this would cause the body to produce oxalates on it’s own. This genetic condition is known as Primary Hyperoxaluria. What happens is the liver produces too little of a enzyme that should prevent the body from the body to overproduce oxalates.
The list of antibiotics that kill the oxalobacter bacteria are
- metronidazole (flagyl)
- doxycycline (the only tetracycline studied)
How to get tested?
Testing to for oxolates can be down through the organics acid test (Great Plains Labatory) which test the metabolites of oxalates which is Oxalic acid. A raised marker will mean there is an oxalate issue and you will need to work with a functional medical practitioner who has experience with this condition.
Oxalates and Candida
Because an overgrowth of oxalates can suppress the immune system, it can make individuals more susceptible to a Candida overgrowth. Research is telling us that the immune system is having difficult recognizing Candida and being able to respond effectively.
It is likely the tie to yeast infections involves a problem in the immune system and its ability to recognize yeast overgrowth and respond. Oxalate is known to impair carboxylase enzymes. Research on those conditions is clear that when carboxylases are impaired, it is easy to get runaway problems with yeast. Once you start on a low oxalate diet, the ability for the body to produce the carboxylase enzymes increases, thereby increasing its ability to get rid of Candida.
This would explain why people on the low oxalate see a reduction in Candida as their ability to get rid of oxalates improves. If you are not seeing a reduction in Candida in the first couple of months of “dumping oxalates”, it would be an idea to vastly increase your levels of Biotin in supplement form as Biotin increases the level of Carboxylases in your body.
Another marker on the organic acid test, Arabinose, which is metabolite of Candida is also an important fuel for oxalate production. An elevated marker here will generally go hand in hand with Candida.
Her are some of the high oxolate food list, but its by no means exhaustive. Please email email@example.com and I can send through the full list.
– Dark or “robust” beer
– Black tea
– Chocolate milk
– Instant coffee
– Hot chocolate
– Juice made from high oxalate fruits (see below for high oxalate fruits)
– Soy drinks
– Chocolate milk
– Soy cheese
– Soy milk
– Soy yogurt
Fats, Nuts, Seeds
– Nut butters
– Sesame seeds
– Soy nuts
– Cereal (bran or high fiber
– Crisp bread (rye or wheat)
– Fruit cake
– Wheat bran
– Wheat germ
– Whole wheat bread
– Whole wheat flour
– Black pepper (more than 1 tsp.)
– Soy sauce
– Concord grapes
– Fruit cocktail
– Lemon peel
– Orange peel
– Canned strawberries
– Beans (baked, green, dried, kidney)
– Beet greens
– Beet root
– Dandelion greens
– Peppers (chili and green)
– Potatoes (baked, boiled, fried)
– Summer squash
– Sweet potato
– Swiss chard
For more info on oxalates, you can join the low oxalate group on facebook which has some some advice for those needing more advice on following a low oxalate diet. The members are very responsive to all ones needs and can really be helpful for those starting out and have little information on its causes, symptoms, the many dumping cycles that can occur and general support from members all over the world. Some of these members have more information than most doctors and Naturopaths and are very happy to respond to members posts and questions, and of course, its free. https://www.facebook.com/groups/135981539816730/