Health Tips - Oxalates and Kidney Stones

Oxalates and Kidney Stones

Oxalates are a form of oxalic acid, an acid made by plants, animals, and humans. Human bodies regularly change many substances into oxalates; for example, vitamin C, amino acids and sugars are routinely converted into oxalates. In addition to the oxalates made inside humans, oxalates are ingested as part of foods that contain them, such as soda, coffee, soy, black and green tea, beer, bacon, cocoa, specific beans, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, grains, and spices.

Organic (containing carbon) oxalic acid is beneficial to humans. It improves the absorption of calcium, if the source of the oxalic acid has not been cooked. When oxalic acid becomes inorganic (not containing carbon) due to a food being cooked or processed, it forms an indigestible compound with calcium that can result in “stones”. About 80% of kidney stones formed by adults in the U.S. are made up of calcium oxalate.

It can be difficult for people to evaluate for themselves what causes their stones, as kidney stones often develop for years and can start to dissolve and mobilize when diets get healthier. However generally speaking, raw unprocessed food is preferable due to the indigestible form of oxalic acid that is produced by heating and processing food.

Regardless of the source of oxalates, what breaks oxalates down is the oxalate-degrading bacteria, Oxalobacter formigenes. This good bacteria lives in the colon of humans. It produces an enzyme that digests oxalates, reducing calcium oxalate stones. There are three other good bacteria, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium infantis, and Lactobacillus acidophilus, that also produce this oxalate-digesting enzyme.

Unless these good bacteria are routinely replaced, antibiotics in food and the water supply can destroy them in the colon, increasing the likelihood of calcium oxalate stones. Reduce the likelihood of ever having painful stones by regularly taking a good bacteria product for your colon!

The only healthy-bacteria product I have found to absorb easily and correctly is called Re:Balance, which can be ordered here.

Good health!

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Dr. Pepi


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