Table of contents:
- Various Sources of Oxalic Acid
- The Impact of Oxalic Acid on He alth
- Should I Avoid Foods Containing Oxalic Acid?
Oxalic acid may still sound foreign to some people. In fact, many of these substances are contained in the food we consume daily. However, if the amount is excessive in the body, oxalic acid can cause kidney stones
In the body, oxalic acid plays a role in metabolic processes, namely to bind minerals and make them easier to absorb and circulate throughout the body. In addition, oxalic acid also plays a role in the repair process of body cells by forming RNA.
Various Sources of Oxalic Acid
Oxalic acid or oxalic acid is an organic compound found in various plants. Some types of food and drinks that contain a lot of oxalic acid are:
- Vegetables, such as spinach, beets, kale, sweet potatoes, and potatoes
- Nuts, such as peanuts, okra, almonds and cashews
- Fruits, including star fruit, avocado, oranges, grapes, and dates
- Cocoa or chocolate
- Stevia Sweetener
In addition to being contained in various types of food or drinks above, oxalic acid can also be formed from the metabolic waste of vitamin C or ascorbic acid.
Once consumed, oxalic acid will form bonds with minerals and form other compounds.For example, when bound to calcium, oxalate forms a compound called calcium oxalate. Meanwhile, if bound with iron, oxalate will form iron oxalate.
The formation of this compound mostly occurs in the large intestine, but can also occur in the kidneys and urinary tract. Normally, these compounds will be excreted from the body through feces or urine.
However, if the amount of oxalic acid is excessive in the body, the minerals that are bound to the substance will easily precipitate or crystallize. This can increase the risk of various he alth problems.
The Impact of Oxalic Acid on He alth
The following are some conditions that can occur if the amount of oxalic acid is excessive in the body:
1. Increase the risk of kidney stones
When the amount of oxalic acid is excessive, calcium will form bonds with the substance. In the urinary tract, too much calcium oxalate can crystallize or precipitate to form kidney stones.
Small kidney stones often do not cause symptoms and can pass on their own through urine. However, if the size is large, kidney stones can cause complaints in the form of pain, nausea, and bloody urine.
In addition to the formation of calcium oxalate, kidney stones can also be caused by minerals or other substances, such as uric acid stones, struvite stones, and cystine stones.
2. Inhibits absorption of nutrients
Excessive amounts of oxalate can cause the absorption of nutrients in the intestine to be disrupted. This is because oxalate is easily bound to nutrients and various minerals.
For example, spinach is rich in iron, calcium, and oxalic acid. Although highly nutritious, excessive intake of oxalic acid in spinach can form bonds with iron and calcium, so that these two minerals cannot be absorbed by the body.
Therefore, to meet the needs of calcium and iron, it is not enough just to eat spinach. You also need to eat other foods, such as iron-rich meat and calcium-rich milk or soybeans.
3. Causing the accumulation of oxalate
The buildup of oxalic acid in the body can cause a condition called hyperoxaluria. This condition occurs when the amount of oxalic acid in the body is too much so that it accumulates in various parts of the body, such as the kidneys, bones, and blood vessels.
This buildup of oxalic acid can occur due to genetic disorders, impaired intestinal function, or due to excessive intake of oxalic acid and vitamin C. When a person experiences hyperoxaluria, he or she will be at high risk of experiencing disorders of the kidney organs, such as kidney stones and kidney failure.
4. Cause drug interaction effect
Oxalic acid in the body can cause drug interactions. This means that the buildup of oxalic acid can interfere with the effectiveness of treatment against certain diseases.
Some examples of drugs that can interact with oxalic acid are acyclovir, aspirin, cimetidine, and pantoprazole. Oxalic acid can also interact with antibiotics, such as cefadroxil and tetracycline.
Should I Avoid Foods Containing Oxalic Acid?
Most foods containing oxalic acid also contain nutrients that are good for the body such as vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.
Therefore, he althy people do not need to stay away from foods containing oxalic acid. Staying away from foods high in oxalate, such as vegetables and fruits, will actually make the body lack of nutrients.
A low-oxalate diet is usually recommended for people suffering from certain ailments, such as kidney stones and indigestion, or for someone who has recently had bariatric surgery.
If you want to follow a low-oxalic acid diet or want to know more about foods that need to be avoided to prevent the buildup of oxalic acid in the body, you can consult a nutritionist.