Oxalates and Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD).

Spinach, a high oxalate food, in a kidney-friendly diet for Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) awareness.

Oxalates and polycystic kidney disease (PKD)?

Oxalates and PKD?

If you have polycystic kidney disease (PKD), you may be curious about whether or not you should avoid foods with oxalates.

In this article, we review the relationship between kidney disease and oxalates including:

*What oxalates are

*How oxalates impact the kidneys

*Tips for managing oxalates with PKD

What are oxalates?

Oxalates are compounds that naturally occur in plants. Oxalates also naturally form in the human body as a waste product. Plants use oxalates to protect themselves, but oxalates do not have a nutritional purpose in humans (1).

How do oxalates impact the kidneys?

Our bodies regulate oxalate levels through a process in which oxalates bind with calcium in our digestive system. The oxalate that binds to calcium in the gastrointestinal tract is then excreted in our stool (2).

However, when kidney function is impaired, oxalate may accumulate in excessive amounts. This can damage the kidney tubules and increase risk for kidney stones (3).

Tips for managing oxalates with PKD…

Individual tolerances vary and portion sizes matter. Consult your renal dietitian to individualize your diet plan.

Eat a balanced diet that minimizes high oxalate foods and includes low oxalate foods
Oxalate content in plants varies. Foods that have more than 10mg of oxalate per 100g serving are considered high oxalate. Examples include (1) :

  • Spinach
  • Rhubarb
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Swiss Chard
  • Beets
  • Potatoes
  • Bran
  • Soy products
  • Beans
  • Many kinds of nuts
  • Amaranth
  • Cocoa powder
  • Raspberries
  • Black tea

There are a wide variety of low oxalate foods to enjoy. A balanced kidney-friendly diet will help support lower oxalate levels. Learn about how to eat more plants with a plant-focused kidney diet.

Pair oxalates with calcium

Pairing oxalate-containing foods with a calcium rich food may lower the risk of kidney stones because calcium can help reduce excess oxalate. Examples of calcium rich foods include milk, yogurt, some cheeses and greens like boy choy and broccoli. Consider trying KetoCitra for PKD, a non-prescription product designed to support kidney health.

Learn about cooking methods to reduce oxalate content in food

Liquid cooking methods like soaking, steaming and boiling certain foods may reduce the amount of oxalates that are absorbed and passed into the kidneys (4).

Consider your vitamin C intake

The breakdown of vitamin C results in oxalates (5). Be sure to consult with your dietitian before taking any vitamin C supplements.

Leverage the power of citric acid

Low levels of citric acid are correlated with increased risk in developing calcium-oxalate kidney stones (6). Citric acid is found in many plant foods, especially citrus. Consider trying KetoCitra for PKD, a non-prescription medical food containing citric acid designed to support kidney health.

Final thoughts

Oxalates are naturally occurring compounds in plants. In cases of reduced kidney function, excess oxalates may accumulate, further damage the kidneys and increase the risk for kidney stones.

There are many ways to manage oxalate intake without sacrificing the nutrition and lifestyle benefits of eating a balanced kidney-safe diet.

Disclaimer: this post is for educational and informational purposes only. Consult a medical professional for individualized advice.

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