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What is a Low Oxalate Diet? It's Benefits & Side Effects on Body

08 January, 2021 Sanjana Patel

A Low Oxalate Diet is not like the stereotypical diet we all assume it to be which is usually for weight loss purposes. A Low Oxalate Diet is preferred to help one deal with certain medical conditions, especially kidney stones.

Oxalates, primarily known as Oxalic Acid is a natural chemical compound found in a variety of leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and even cocoa. Oxalic Acid tends to bind itself to minerals, hence forming oxalates. Whereas the human body as well continues to produce oxalate itself when consumed via foods that contain Iron Oxalate, Calcium Oxalate, etc. These oxalates get formed in the shape of ragged crystals and are found in the colon that is a part of the large intestine mostly in the kidneys and the urinary tract.

These oxalates are often negligible in size and hence get flushed out of the body through urine or motion. But in many cases, high-oxalate foods are linked to the cases of kidney stones and many other medical conditions. A person's normal oxalate consumption is more than 150mg per day. Kidney stones are usually formed because of the tendency of oxalates to bind with the minerals reducing the body’s mineral absorbing capability, and these crystal form stones.

Some basics of Low Oxalate Dietary Regime:

  • Include less than 50mg of Oxalate in your diet per day.
  • Lower the Protein Intake to 80gm per day.
  • Eat Rich Calcium Foods.
  • Stick to Less-Salted Food Consumption.
  • DRINK WATER!


Benefits of Low Oxalate Diet:

Reduces the Risk of Kidney Stone
Imbalanced consumption of calcium and oxalates in your body leads the oxalate to form a compound with the calcium. Kidney stones are found to be crystals of Calcium Oxalates. Hence, by lowering the oxalate and getting enough calcium, the risk of developing Kidney Stones reduces.

Helps with Hypothyroidism (Under Active Thyroid)
A study reveals 79% of patients diagnosed with Hypothyroidism have found oxalate crystals in their thyroid gland. The high concentration of oxalates in the body can accumulate themselves in many parts of the body, along with tissues and glands including the thyroid which later forms crystals by binding itself to the hormone Triiodothyronine (T3) produced in the thyroid gland. These oxalate crystals disrupt the functioning of the thyroid gland, leading to hypothyroidism and its medical consequences.

Relieves Vulvodynia
Vulvodynia is a medical condition where one experiences irritation, pain and burning around the opening of the vagina. The precise cause for the vulvar pain is yet to be found but doctors often advise to follow a Low Oxalate Diet. As oxalate is an anti-nutrient, this diet reduces the number of oxalates released, relieving the pain.

Assists in Averting Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Cystic Fibrosis could be described as a genetic disease, which causes mucus to form in your lungs and pancreas clogging it leading to poor gut health, given the fact that CF remains incurable. It is advisable to follow a low oxalate diet to avoid further complications like Hyperoxaluria or Bird’s disease, which happens due to the obsessive amount of oxalate in the urine.

Aids in treating Autism
Children diagnosed with Autism are found to have an “impaired renal excretion”, which makes them incapable of releasing toxins from their body along with gut dysbiosis which could lead the oxalates to laves the intestines and cross the blood barriers leading to neurological issues and behaviour change.

Side Effects of Low Oxalate Diet:

Leads to Lack of Necessary Nutrition
Many oxalate-rich foods are also rich in other properties of nutrients. As the Low Oxalate Diet prohibits one from eating nutritious food leaving them more open to other diseases like Oranges are high in Vitamin C, Nuts and Beans are a huge source of Protein, Beet, and Spinach as well carry essential Vitamins and Minerals are all High-Oxalate Foods.

Death of Gut Microbes
When the gut only receives less oxalate food, the gut microorganisms responsible for breaking down of the food are left with no work leading them to gradually cease and go extinct.

Boosts Hypersensitivity to Oxalic Acid
With the reduction of oxalates in one’s dietary plan, the body gradually gets more immune to lesser oxalate foods, in the gut. As then in the future, one cannot change their diet plans, because now the body will not be able to take even medium oxalate food items causing more complications.

Excess Accumulation of Yeast
Above factors, all lead to an Unstable and Imbalanced Gur Health, which causes Overgrowth of Yeast (Fungus). The fungus is the breeding ground for oxalates and is produced largely. Hence, often the people, who suffer from fungal infections like Candida or Aspergillus, find huge oxalate crystals in their sinuses and lungs.

 

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