Oxalic Acid, Friend or Foe?

Oxalic Acid Crystals
Oxalic Acid Crystals

Oxalic acid, or oxalate, (C2H2O4) is found in a great variety of foods.  It’s an organic acid which binds w minerals to either make them unavailable or form kidney stones–perhaps 80% of kidney stones are calcium oxalate. Unfortunately, it’s in some of the most nutritious foods on the planet!

The isolated chemical form is used commercially as a pesticide and disinfectant, among other things.


The oxalate content in foods can vary from one part of the food to another and within the same group of foods. Charts don’t seem to agree, for instance, on which foods are low in it.

One list, by Helen O’Connor, MS, RD is available at:  http://www.ohf.org/docs/OxalateContent092003.pdf

She recommends no more than 50 mg/day. A half cup of cooked lentils, 1/2 cup of okra, 1/4 cup of soy milk, or 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter are all in the “very high” group—-50 mg to 520 mg oxalate per serving!

Recently, I’ve had a rough experience with crippling leg spasms. After a variety of tests, oxalic acid was the only thing that showed up off the chart. This was at first surprising to me because I was aware of the oxalate in chocolate, spinach, swiss chard, beet greens and rhubarb and had been avoiding these foods. When my urine acid test came back extremely high in oxalic acid I was shocked.

As I began researching it, I found it’s high in most of the foods I eat! From the elderberries in my morning tea to the raw almond butter I often have before bed at night to help me sleep. The list includes many nuts, soy, greens, sardines, most berries, teas, and on and on.

The question is, could this oxalate be causing the mysterious muscle spasms that I’ve been experiencing in my legs?

My inner voice has been telling me for a long time that my glutathione is low and I’m not detoxing fast enough. So recently, I added ReadiSorb liquid Lyposomal Glutathione supplement. Taken on an empty stomach, it enhances the body’s ability to detox. In less than a week I’ve noticed a big improvement, not only in weaker spasms, but less low back stiffness in the morning.

This is to be continued, as I find out more and as my healing progresses.

I’d appreciate any insights or sharing of experiences that this blog elicits.  Thank you!

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