Tips on How to Avoid Hyperoxaluria

Expert dietary tips on how to avoid hyperoxaluria and help prevent kidney stones.

Some researchers refer to the American Dietary Association recommendation that people prone to kidney stones should avoid consuming over 50 mg/day of oxalate from food or supplements that contain it. Other medical experts indicate that dietary restriction of oxalate offers no benefit for most of this same group of people. (i.81)

This is because 80% of people who get kidney stones do not have hyperoxaluria. Even in the 20% of those with high levels of oxalate in their urine, there are risk factors other than dietary and supplemental oxalate that increase oxalate absorption. In any event, there are tips that could help reduce oxalate levels for those kidney stone patients with hyperoxaluria. These tips may mean not giving up the health benefits and vital micronutrients many oxalate-rich foods and spices such as turmeric offer: (i.81)

  • Decrease saturated fat intake. Since oxalate is fat-soluble, eating less fat or fatty foods may help lower absorption of oxalate. (i.81)
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Studies conducted in the 1990s involving over 136,000 men and women have suggest that consuming 2.5 liters of liquid a day can help prevent kidney stones. (i.83)
  • Eat foods high in calcium. Consuming approximately 1000-1200 mg/day of calcium from dietary food sources significantly reduces oxalate absorption because the two substances strongly bind to each other. It is important to eat calcium and oxalate-rich foods together to maximize this oxalate-binding effect. (i.8486)
  • Limit animal proteins. Eggs, certain fish, and meat (especially organ meats) contain purines. When digested, purines turn into uric acid in the urine and can increase the risk of uric acid kidney stones. Animal proteins also increase calcium excretion and contain acid that lowers citrate levels (a natural kidney stone inhibitor). (i.84)
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is associated with higher average oxalate levels in urine and increased incidence of kidney stones. (i.8284)
  • Reduce salt intake. Sodium increases calcium concentration in the urine rather than the intestines. This makes it available to bind with oxalate and phosphorus to form kidney stones. Limiting salt intake to no more than the U.S. recommended daily allowance (2400 mg/day) could help prevent excess calcium excretion. (i.84)
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