Oxalate and Calcium Intake: How much is enough?

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Avoiding or limiting calcium or oxalate intake could be harmful so balance it.

Balancing the right amount of oxalate and calcium intake is crucial, especially for those prone to kidney stones. Oxalate is a molecule that occurs naturally in humans and plants. As for people, it’s not much required and with too much intake can directly affect kidneys by causing stones. In plants, oxalate helps to get rid of excess calcium by binding with oxalate. Therefore, most high-oxalate food is from plants. In case of humans, oxalate works as pre-biotic and high consumption must be strictly avoided. Calcium oxalate kidney stones are the most common types of kidney stones, faced by humans, especially men. With more oxalate levels, the severity of kidney stones increases.

One of the effective ways of dealing with higher oxalate levels is to consume calcium. Again if lesser amount of calcium is consumed, oxalate levels rise drastically in the kidneys which lead to formation of stones. Therefore, the oxalate and calcium intake must be well balanced.

  • While having oatmeal, if someone wishes to add wheat germ then adding some milk will proportionate oxalate and calcium levels.
  • Spinach can be combined with pizza or lasagna for better oxalate and calcium balance.
  • For those who have a craving for berry smoothie, they can add Greek yogurt or regular yogurt to ensure proper balance.

Sources of Oxalate: Potato chips, French fries, spinach, bran flakes, nut butters, nuts, beets and rhubarb are the most common sources of oxalate.

Sources of Calcium: Dairy products like milk, yoghurt and cheese; green leafy vegetables, peas, beans, legumes and fruits contain good amount of Calcium.

Calcium Supplements & Kidney Stone

Calcium supplements, when consumed at the time of high-oxalate meals like lunch and of course not breakfast, balances the oxalate-and-calcium levels and prevents kidney stone and other disorders in the body. People engaged in heavy exercises, workout etc. tend to have a heavy breakfast filled with oxalate can have the calcium supplements at the time of breakfast. The whole idea is to balance the calcium & oxalate levels in the body by intake of both at the same time so that both bind in the intestine for better absorption by the body, preventing formation of kidney stone. On the contrary, it makes stronger bones and muscles and increases body’s efficiency and power.

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