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Why You Should Take Calcium With Your Greens

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

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  • Oxalate, also known as oxalic acid, is found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. While not harmful in and of itself an over accumulation of oxalates can trigger the development of kidney stones
  • Calcium oxalate stones are the most common type of kidney stones. The stones form when your urine becomes highly concentrated, allowing the calcium and oxalate from your diet to crystallize
  • Eating high-oxalate foods such as vegetables with a calcium-rich food such as butter, cottage cheese or sour cream will allow the calcium to bind to oxalate in your intestine, thereby decreasing your risk of kidney stone formation
  • Taking a calcium supplement without oxalate-containing food increases your risk of kidney stones. To minimize this risk, take your supplement with an oxalate-containing meal
  • Oxalate-rich foods include dark green vegetables (especially spinach and Swiss chard), bran, rhubarb, beets and beet greens, chocolate, nuts (especially almonds, cashews and peanuts) and nut butters

Oxalate, also known as oxalic acid, is found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. While not harmful in and of itself — your liver actually produces oxalate naturally — oxalates can cause problems when they over accumulate.

Over accumulation can occur either from overconsumption, or because your body either absorbs exceptionally high amounts of soluble oxalates or overproduces oxalate (primary hyperoxaluria), or if you excrete excessive amounts of urinary calcium (hypercalciuria).


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