Low Oxalate Diet

A low oxalate diet eliminates foods and beverages of high oxalate concentration, often to treat kidney stones and other kidney disorders. Oxalate is a compound commonly found in foods of plant origin that strongly bind to minerals (e.g., calcium, magnesium, and potassium), and reduces their absorption. Often they will they bind together in the stomach or intestines and then they will pass through the body and not get into the kidneys. But if oxalates do not find calcium to bind with in the stomach, it will get into the kidneys, find calcium to bind with there, and form stones.

Oxalic acid’s has the ability to form a strong bond with various minerals forming compounds referred to as oxalate salts. Therefore, oxalate generally refers to the salt form of oxalic acid, one of which is calcium oxalate. Oxalic acid may cause hyperoxaluria (an excessive amount of oxalate in the urine), vitamin B6 deficiency, cardiomyopathy , heart rhythm disorders, calcium oxalate stones and renal failure.

It is estimated that 1 in every 1,000 adults in the United States is hospitalized annually for kidney stones. According to this article a person whom has passed a calcium stone for the first time, the likelihood of forming another stone is about 15% within 1 year, 40% within 5 years, and 80% within 10 years.

Dietary factors may increase or reduce the risk of forming calcium oxalate stones. Nearly 80% of reported kidney stones in patients in the United States are composed of calcium oxalate.

Oxalates are an irritant that may cause histamine release and burning in tissues. The Low Histamine Chef  has a great article on eating low histamine and lower oxalate.

Currently, the low oxalate diet has strong evidence supporting its use in the treatment of kidney stone and unexplained vulva pain. The association of oxalates and vulval pain was highlighted in an article  in an American medical journal in 1991 where a woman with vulvodynia was found to have abnormally high levels of oxalate in her urine. She was treated with a combination of a low-oxalate diet and the use of a food supplement called calcium citrate which removes the oxalate from the body. Following treatment her symptoms resolved as her urine oxalate levels fell.

Diet Outline

To help prevent oxalate stones from forming, most low oxalate diets recommend limiting oxalates to 40 to 50mg per day.

Low oxalate foods have less than 2mg of oxalate per serving. A low oxalate diet encourages ample use of these foods.

Moderate oxalate foods have between 2mg and 6mg of oxalate per serving. On a low oxalate diet, the consumption of these foods is often limited to 3 to 5 times a week.

High oxalate foods have more than 7mg of oxalate per serving. These foods are avoided on a low oxalate diet.

Fantastic Resources

Low Oxalate Diet 

Low Oxalate Diet Chart

Low Oxalate Info 

Trying Low Oxalates Yahoo Group – This is a must group – so helpful!

Low Oxalate Cookbook 

Trying Low Oxalate Facebook Closed Group