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Oxalic Acid

Discussion in 'Tortoise Diet and Food' started by Nobody, Feb 10, 2010.

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  1. Nobody

    Nobody Member

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    What kinds of foods are high in Oxalic Acid?
    Thanks.
  2. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer

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    Spinach, broccoli and Kale all have it in varying amounts. I feed all of this, but in small amounts and infrequently. Of course, the plant Oxalis has it too.
  3. Nobody

    Nobody Member

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    Is watercress high in Oxalic Acid?
    Thanks.
  4. Stephanie Logan

    Stephanie Logan Active Member

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    Here are the results of a quick google search on oxalic acide and watercress--for humans, not tortoises. But if oxalic acid was present at a high rate, it would probably be mentioned in the nutrition content link below, and it's not.

    Oxalic acid is present in abundance in many plant products, with especially high content in sour grass, rubharb and buckwheat. Other plants containing high levels of oxalates are (in decreasing order): starfruit (also known as carambola), black pepper, parsley, poppy seed, amaranth, spinach, chard, beets, cocoa, most nuts, most berries and beans.

    http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2718/2
  5. Madkins007

    Madkins007 Active Member Staff Member

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    This is my favorite link about oxalic acid- http://oxalicacidinfo.com/

    When we look at the levels of oxalates in foods, it is unfortunate that we often do not know what part of the plant was measured, or if the food was cooked or prepared in some way since cooking seems to activate or amplify the effects.

    Watercress has 0.31 in some studies, which is moderate, or 0.01 in another, which is really low. Spinach runs 0.97 to 0.66, Lambsquarters run 30.0!

    It is worth mentioning that in the wild, tortoises routinely eat foods so high in oxalates that they are listed as toxic to humans.

    There are some risks with foods high in oxalates (especially bladder stones), but many experts feel that they are not a big deal as long as they are only a part of a varied diet, and the tortoise is properly hydrated.
  6. tortoisenerd

    tortoisenerd New Member

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    Dandelion/mustard/collard/mustard greens. Chard. Watercress. Spinach (too high in my opinion to feed). Turnip greens are one of the few greens you can get at the grocery store that are low. The lettuces are all low except mizuna, chard, and spinach in spring mix. Also, keep in mind that published oxalic acid contents vary wildly source to source. Not sure why yet, but it is confusing. I find it easier to have a never feed, feed occasionally, and feed in any amount type of list, than to try and compare them. Best wishes.
  7. jackportd

    jackportd Guest

    Hi,
    Is it really oxalic acid? I would not be surprised, but I always thought it was poisonous. This is why one is not supposed to eat rhubarb leaves, because they contain it.
    Neutralising an acid is very difficult in cooking. The only alkaline foodstuff that I have heard of is egg white, but that would coagulate in the soup and have to be drained off. You could try it, though.
  8. -EJ

    -EJ New Member

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    Oxalilates and Oxcalic acid are very different. Oxalilates are the binded results... Oxalic acid is the component that binds to form Oxalilates.

    Opuntia cactus is very high in Oxalilates but is said to be a good form of calcium for tortoises... it is.

    Make sure you can see the difference.

  9. Madkins007

    Madkins007 Active Member Staff Member

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    Chemistry is not my bag, but the only place on-line I find the word 'Oxalilate' when I googled it was this post. Oxalate has some chemical connection to oxalic acid that is close enough that most articles I find on-line seem to use it interchangeably.

    The Wikipedia article, for example (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxalate) mentions the oxalate levels in plants as if it means the same thing, and I have seen that in other articles as well. If it is wrong, at least I am in good company in my error.[hr]
    Oxalic acid is only risky in the right dose. There are a lot of perfectly human edible plants that have the stuff, like spinach and parsley, but when the levels get TOO high, as in rhubarb, it is dangerous.
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