Health issues from oxalates

Problems caused by oxalates, one of the natural compounds found in many foods and what we can do. 

  • Kidney stones
  • Aches
  • Problems at the joints
  • Vascular problems  
  • Autism spectrum, ADHD, Tic-Tourette, Asperger’s and more
  • Mental confusion, low concentration
  • Mood disorders
  • Respiratory problems
  • Digestion problems
  • Anemia
  • Weakness, fatigue, fibromyalgia
  • Insomnia

Oxalate compounds are found mainly in foods like beets, spinach, green beans, green peppers, okra, parsley, eggplant, red grapes, kiwi, chocolate, peanuts, bark of wheat, cashews, tea, almonds, various berries including strawberries. They are also created by emissions from fungi such as candida and other hostile dysbiosis bacteria (see Leaky Bowel) that multiply, kick out the friendly intestinal flora and occupy our intestines. This usually happens after the use of antibiotics but it can also occur due to the function of our metabolism. You can find a list of foods high in oxalates at

Recent studies have shown that a diet low in oxalates reduces the symptoms in children with autism or with severe growth disorders like lack of concentration, intense anxiety and nervousness. It also helped them walk with ease and participate in games. It considerably decreased physical aches and fatigue; it improved speech, sociability, sleep, understanding, writing and participation in school, among others. It is noted here that 36% of children who participated in the surveys and were on the autism spectrum had elevated oxalates in their urine compared with normal children.

What problems are caused by oxalates?

Many kidney stones belong to this group; in particular they consist of calcium oxalate. These stones may vary in size, from a grain of rice to a golf ball. It is estimated that 10% of men have kidney stones at some point in their lives.

Thinking that calcium is responsible for these stones, many people unnecessarily avoid getting calcium supplements; calcium can bind oxalic acid in the intestines, forming oxalic acid crystals that are not absorbed but excreted in the feces. However, if you are on a low calcium diet, oxalic acid stays in liquid form and instead of being eliminated by defecation, it is absorbed by the intestine into the bloodstream and from there it is transferred in different systems. When found in the kidneys it binds the calcium found there, resulting in crystals or oxalate stones that block urination and cause pain.

Apart from the kidneys, crystals can be formed in the bones, joints (arthritis), blood vessels (blood pressure or blockage), lungs (respiratory problems), the nervous system, even in the brain (cerebral palsy and mental disorders). These crystals can even be formed in the bone marrow cells and cause anemia and an underactive immune system. Because these crystals are sharp they may cause tissue damage and inflammation.

Oxalates can bind metals like iron, eliminating it from our body; the result is an inability to produce blood. The same can happen with zinc and magnesium, possibly resulting in deficiencies, even if the diet is rich in them. Note that in cases of mental disorders a lack of these minerals is often observed. On the other hand, oxalates can bind heavy or toxic metals like mercury with the same ease, resulting in its deposition on organs and tissues. Mothers who noticed a very bad reaction of their children after vaccination reported that their children were taking antibiotics when they got the vaccine. If we consider that the development of candida is observed after the use of antibiotics and it is responsible for the production of oxalates which in turn can bind mercury that is contained in some of the vaccines as a preservative, we are surely led to some conclusions.

What can we do to protect ourselves from them?

-Some antifungal medications help reduce fungi that may cause high oxalates but it takes time and persistence.

-Supplementation with calcium in the form of calcium citrate with each main meal may reduce the absorption from the intestine and help with their expulsion.

-N-acetyl-glucosamine helps the production of hyaluronic acid; that helps reduce the pain caused.

-Chondroitin and vitamin B6 are said to prevent the production of calcium oxalate.

-Drinking water helps expel them.

-Taurine-(amino acid) aids in the production of bile acids which dissolve the fatty acids that bind oxalate.

- Probiotics like lactobacillus and bifidobacterium can be very helpful in the release and elimination of oxalates from the intestines.

-Omega 3 fatty acids may help reduce oxalates; high amount of omega 6 may cause the opposite effect.

-Magnesium salts when used in a bath can help release and dissolve the crystals of calcium oxalate and mercury even if they are in the kidneys, making them return to the intestine and be excreted.

-Vitamin E, selenium and the amino acid arginine appear to reduce the effect of oxalates in the body.


1.Tsao, G. Appl Microbiol. 1963 May; 11(3): 249-254. Production of Oxalic Acid by a Wood-Rotting


2. Takeuchi H Konishi T, Tomoyoshi T. Observation on fungi within urinary stones. Hinyokika Kiyo. 1987 May;33(5):658-61.

3. Lee SH, Barnes WG, Schaetzel WP. Pulmonary aspergillosis and the importance of oxalate crystal recognition in cytology specimens. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1986 Dec;110(12):1176-9.

4. Muntz FH. Oxalate-producing pulmonary aspergillosis in an alpaca. Vet Pathol. 1999 Nov;36(6):631-2.

5. Loewus FA, Saito K, Suto RK, Maring E. Conversion of D-arabinose to D-erythroascorbic acid and oxalic acid in Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1995 Jul 6;212(1):196-203.

6. Fomina M, Hillier S, Charnock JM, Melville K, Alexander IJ, Gadd GM. Role of oxalic acid overexcretion in transformations of toxic metal minerals by Beauveria caledonica. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2005 Jan;71(1):371-81.

7. Ruijter, G.J.G., van de Vondervoort, P.J.I. & Visser, J. (1999) Oxalic acid production by Aspergillus niger: an oxalate-non-producing mutant produces citric acid at pH 5 and in the presence of manganese. Microbiology 145, 2569–2576.

8. Ghio AJ, Peterseim DS, Roggli VL, Piantadosi CA. Pulmonary oxalate deposition associated with Aspergillus niger infection. An oxidant hypothesis of toxicity. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1992 Jun;145(6):1499-502.

9. Takeuchi H, Konishi T, Tomoyoshi T. Detection by light microscopy of Candida in thin sections of bladder stone. Urology. 1989 Dec;34(6):385-7.

10. Ghio AJ, Roggli VL, Kennedy TP, Piantadosi CA. Calcium oxalate and iron accumulation in sarcoidosis. Sarcoidosis Vasc Diffuse Lung Dis. 2000 Jun;17(2):140-50.

11. Ott SM, Andress DL, Sherrard DJ. Bone oxalate in a long-term hemodialysis patient who ingested high doses of vitamin C. Am J Kidney Dis. 1986 Dec;8(6):450-4.

12. Hall BM, Walsh JC, Horvath JS, Lytton DG. Peripheral neuropathy complicating primary hyperoxaluria. J Neurol Sci. 1976 Oct;29(2-4):343-9.

13. Sahin G, Acikalin MF, Yalcin AU. Erythropoietin resistance as a result of oxalosis in bone marrow. Clin Nephrol. 2005 May;63(5):402-4.

14. Sarma AV, Foxman B, Bayirli B, Haefner H, Sobel JD. Epidemiology of vulvar vestibulitis syndrome: an exploratory case-control study. Sex Transm Infect. 1999 Oct;75(5):320-6.




18. Shirane Y, Kurokawa Y, Miyashita S, Komatsu H, Kagawa S. Study of inhibition mechanisms of glycosaminoglycans on calcium oxalate monohydrate crystals by atomic force microscopy. Urol Res. 1999 Dec;27(6):426-31.

19. Chetyrkin SV, Kim D, Belmont JM, Scheinman JI, Hudson BG, Voziyan PA. Pyridoxamine lowers kidney crystals in experimental hyperoxaluria: a potential therapy for primary hyperoxaluria.

20. Sangaletti O, Petrillo M, Bianchi Porro G. Urinary oxalate recovery after oral oxalic load: an alternative method to the quantitative determination of stool fat for the diagnosis of lipid malabsorption. J Int Med Res. 1989 Nov-Dec;17(6):526-31.

21. Kumar R, Mukherjee M, Bhandari M, Kumar A, Sidhu H, Mittal RD. Role of Oxalobacter formigenes in calcium oxalate stone disease: a study from North India. Eur Urol. 2002 Mar;41(3):318-22.

22. Azcarate-Peril MA, Bruno-Barcena JM, Hassan HM, Klaenhammer TR. Transcriptional and functional analysis of oxalyl-coenzyme A (CoA) decarboxylase and formyl-CoA transferase genes from Lactobacillus acidophilus. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Mar;72(3):1891-9.

23. Baggio B, Gambaro G, Zambon S, Marchini F, Bassi A, Bordin L, Clari G, Manzato E. Anomalous phospholipid n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid composition in idiopathic calcium nephrolithiasis. J Am Soc Nephrol. 1996 Apr;7(4):613-20.

24. Gambaro G, Bordoni A, Hrelia S, Bordin L, Biagi P, Semplicini A, Clari G, Manzato E, Baggio B. Dietary manipulation of delta-6-desaturase modifies phospholipid arachidonic acid levels and the urinary excretion of calcium and oxalate in the rat: insight in calcium lithogenesis. J Lab Clin Med. 2000 Jan;135(1):89-95.

25. Santhosh Kumar M, Selvam R. Supplementation of vitamin E and selenium prevents hyperoxaluria in experimental urolithic rats. J Nutr Biochem. 2003 Jun;14(6):306-13.

26. Pragasam V, Kalaiselvi P, Sumitra K, Srinivasan S, Varalakshmi P. Pragasam V, Kalaiselvi P, Sumitra K, Srinivasan S, Varalakshmi P. Counteraction of oxalate induced nitrosative stress by supplementation of l-arginine, a potent antilithic agent. Clin Chim Acta. 2005 Apr;354(1-2):159-66. Epub 2005 Jan 19.

27. Takenouchi KAso K, Kawase K, Ichikawa H, Shiomi T. On the metabolites of ascorbic acid, especially oxalic acid, eliminated in urine, following administration of large amounts of ascorbic acid. J Vitaminol (Kyoto). 1966 Mar 10;12(1):49-58.

28. Curhan, G. C., Willett, W. C., Speizer, F. E., Stampfer, M. J. Intake of vitamins B6 and C and the risk of kidney stones in women. J Am Soc Nephrol 10:4:840-845, Apr 1999

29. Dolske MC, Spollen J, McKay S, Lancashire E, Tolbert L. A preliminary trial of ascorbic acid as supplemental therapy for autism. Prog. Neuropsycho-pharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 1993 Sep;17(5):765-74.







The British Association for Nutrition & Lifestyle Medicine


IFM Video for the core of Functional Medicine (Αμερική)