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#392961 - 10/05/07 12:49 PM Does anybody know about oxalates?
gizmoglider Offline
Joey Member

Registered: 09/14/07
Posts: 88
Loc: Midwest
I know oxalates are crystal-like 'hairs' in some foods that can cause irritation. It also binds calcium and inhibits the absorption.

I lot of foods that we feed gliders, and are high in calcium, especially veggies, contain high amounts of oxalates.

Obviously, it's best to avoid high amounts of oxalates, but since it is in so many foods that are good for gliders, it's really hard to avoid. Does anybody know how worried we should be about oxalates? I know this is a hard question, but I'm having trouble balancing low levels of oxalates with high levels of calcium. Should I pick lower-calcium fruits and veggies in order to lower the level of oxalates? Has anybody else worried about this before?


#393039 - 10/05/07 04:08 PM Re: Does anybody know about oxalates? [Re: gizmoglider]
Kitkatt1216 Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 10/28/06
Posts: 1763
Loc: Connecticut
Honestly it's not something I've ever even heard discussed in terms of gliders, but if I bump this up for you maybe someone who knows more about diet will see it.
Owned by Murphy and Peanut

**RIP My loves Amunet, MiaKoda, and Kieko**

#393052 - 10/05/07 04:27 PM Re: Does anybody know about oxalates? [Re: Kitkatt1216]

Copying this from something I wrote a while back:
Oxalates bind with metals (like iron, calcium, magnesium, etc) which causes crystals that can irritate the kidneys. They also inhibit the ability to absorb calcium, and in the long term cause deficiencies.
Also, when calcium binds to oxalate, it forms a calcium oxalate precipitate, otherwise known as kidney stones.
Things like star fruit, spinach, parsley, and rhubarb contain higher oxalates.

There are a few conditions (in humans) that would require more restrictions on oxalates in diet, but it's not that common.
However, I tend to stay away from fruits and veggies that run on the higher end. Also, the leaves and stems generally tend to have higher levels.

#393053 - 10/05/07 04:29 PM Re: Does anybody know about oxalates? [Re: gizmoglider]

Well here are some foods that contain oxolates.
blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, currants, kiwifruit, concord (purple) grapes, figs, tangerines, and plums
spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens, collards, okra, parsley, leeks and quinoa are among the most oxalate-dense vegetables, celery, green beans, rutabagas, and summer squash would be considered moderately dense in oxalates
almonds, cashews, and peanuts, Legumes
soybeans, tofu and other soy products
wheat bran, wheat germ, quinoa (a vegetable often used like a grain)
cocoa, chocolate, and black tea

Now I don't know a whole lot about this but I do know that, as a human, unless you have a few select diseases it's nothing to worry about. The most common thing high oxalate intake causes, in humans, is kidney stones. Most of the kidney stones people get are clacium oxalate stones. Sometimes doctors will put patients on a low oxalate diet. There has been research that suggests some of the higher oxalate foods actually prevent stones. So doctors just use a lower intake instead of cutting it completely out. I don't know technically how this is possible but they have some pretty hard evidence.
Gliders can get kidney stones from a poor diet. Which does seem ironic considering a good glider diet contains lots of oxalates. My personal opinion on this is not to worry about it. In most cases of glider kidney stones, the cause is not getting these high oxalate foods. This is really all very confusing but the way I figure it is our human bodies wouldn't naturally make this if it was going to harm us. Our cells actually convert certain substances into oxalate. So we take it in and we occasionaly make it. I think maybe it's not truly understood why people get kidney stones. They know what a stone is made of they just don't know why. I hope this helps some. Maybe someone with more of a science background can tell you more. I'm no expert. confused

#393082 - 10/05/07 05:40 PM Re: Does anybody know about oxalates? [Re: ]
blockamon Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 07/14/07
Posts: 563
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
If you do a Wiki search on kidney stones, you will note that recurring stones are typically associated with rare medical conditions. Also, they are more common with low calcium diets. With sufficient calcium, calcium oxalate precipitates in the gastrointestinal tract rather than in the kidneys / urine.

One thing to note is that the calcium in the high-oxalate foods is already present, at least partly, as calcium oxalate. As such, it is probably not really digestable. So, I would not rely on the high calcium/high oxalate foods to balance out the Ca:P ratio in a diet that needs careful control of the fruit/veggie intake (e.g., HPW). For other diets using a calcium supplement (either as calcium carbonate or calcium gluconate), the oxalate level is (IMO) probably not a large concern.


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