Oxalates, calcium oxalate, oxalate stones

The Enemy of Football

Oxalic acid is an anti-nutritional factor present in many foods, including spinach, rhubarb, whole grains and cabbage. Once ingested it combines with different minerals (iron, magnesium and above all calcium) forming salts, called oxalates, which prevent it from being absorbed. Because of their ability to reduce the minerals available to the body, oxalates promote the onset of deficiency states (osteoporosis, anemia etc.).

The consumption of oxalic acid becomes even toxic when it reaches doses equal to or greater than 1500 mg. In such situations the ingested oxalates are rapidly absorbed in the small intestine and go to bind with serum calcium. The consequent decrease in the concentration of the mineral in the blood causes severe disorders, such as involuntary muscle contractions, tremors, cramps and tetanic crises.

Foods rich in oxalates can be harmful even if ingested in non-lethal doses. Combined with calcium, oxalic acid gives rise to calcium oxalate, an insoluble salt that tends to precipitate in the form of crystals and to accumulate in the urinary tract (kidney stones). When these hard and crystalline formations reach significant dimensions, disorders such as irritation of the urinary tract, haematuria (presence of blood in the urine) and kidney damage arise. For this reason, in the presence of oxalate stones, the diet should not provide more than 100 mg of oxalic acid a day. To learn more about the topic: diet and kidney stones.

Food Oxalic Acid Content

Type of food

mg / 100g

Type of food

mg / 100g

Beets

690

strawberries

15

spinach

676

Raspberries

15

Cocoa powder

450

blueberries

15

Red beet (roots)

338

apricots

14

Bitter chocolate

80

Eggplant

12

Cauliflower

60

You

10

Celery (coasts)

50

tomatoes

7.5

Milk chocolate

35

Green cabbage (cabbage)

7.3

Celery of Verona

34

Bananas

6.4

carrots

33

Pineapple in syrup

6.3

Green beans

30

Brussels sprouts

5.9

Curly chicory

27

Potatoes

5.7

Envy

27

Oats (flakes)

5.6

escarole

27

Asparagus

5.2

Cucumbers

25

beans

4.3

oranges

24

Currant

4

onions

23

Fresh peas

1.3

Blackberries

18

Peaches in syrup

1.2

peppers

16

Coffee

1

In addition to the presence of oxalic acid in a given food, it is also necessary to evaluate the bioavailability of the calcium contained in it. This parameter is obtained from the ratio between the quantities of oxalic acid and those of calcium (g / kg). Foods in which this ratio exceeds 2.25 may be considered "descaling agents", as well as a bad source of calcium. This ratio is less than one in lettuce, cabbage, pea and onion; it is around the unity in the potato and in the currant, while it reaches values ​​of 7 in the beet, in the spinach and in the cocoa.

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